BOOKS: Dog Adoption

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1998:

Dog Adoption
by Joan Hustace Walker
ICS Books, Inc. (1370 East 86th Place,
Merrillville, IN 46410), 1997.
130 pages, $12.95, paperback.

Subtitled “A guide to choosing the
perfect ‘pre-owned’ dog,” Dog Adoption
champions the adoptability of the rescued or
shelter dog as pretext to author Joan Hustace
Walker’s apparent main interest: promoting
greyhound adoption––and greyhound racing.
Not even the industry’s own well-paid public
relations people as easily dismiss decades of
eyewitness-and-media-documented greyhound
abuse as, in Walker’s own words,
“fiction, false rumors and hogwash.”

Walker states at one point that the
idea that there are often large numbers of
greyhounds in peril when a track closes is
absurd. I find this particularly noxious since
I was directly involved in placing the
Shoreline Star Connecticut greyhounds for
adoption after the track went bankrupt in
1996. More than 100 greyhounds required
adoption, not 40, as Walker incorrectly
asserts. Whether a track is closing for the
season or permanently, it is not uncommon
to see hundreds of dogs needing homes––or
turning up dead somewhere, as the A N IMAL
PEOPLE files amply record.
The growing number of greyhound
adoption groups nationwide who see evidence
of tremendous neglect and abuse to
greyhounds, and are not apathetic about it,
should find Walker’s misrepresentations as
disturbing as I do. But those who pretend
they don’t see the mass exoduses of greyhounds
to research labs and the destruction
of tens of thousands of greyhounds will no
doubt do what they’ve always done: remain
“neutral” or even actively favor greyhound
racing, in the misguided belief that cooperation
with the industry will save more dogs.
––Melani Nardone

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