Why are The Beastly Beasts "The Beastly Beasts"?
In the strictest sense of the word The Beastly Beasts are beasts, but as many people have pointed out, they aren't very beastly; in fact, quite the opposite.
The inspiration for the the name comes from 1987 when a bunch of guys released a couple of singles: Fight For Your Right and No Sleep Till Brooklyn; they were the Beastie Boys (both songs are from their album Licensed to Ill). What ever your opinions of them and their music, in 1987 there was no ignoring the Beastie Boys – particularly if you drove a VW.
Fast forward to 1994 and the arrival of Phelan followed by Beamish & Murphy (the Big Beasts) in 1995; together they were The Beasty Boys; a name that continued after the departure of the Big Beasts and Kai's arrival.
Then Izzy arrived. Being a girl she presented a problem; they couldn't be The Beasty Boys any more – a name suitable for boy and girl Beasts was needed and so they became The Beastly Beasts.
Now, this is important. They are The Beastly Beasts, sometimes shortened to The Beasts. What they are not is "the beastly beasts"; they are "The" 'coz there is only one lot of them, they are "Beastly" because they're not, and they are "Beasts" becasue they are.
How did The Beastly Beasts become Hounds Helping Hounds?
It started when Monty arrived in December 2004. He was a bit of a cause célèbre in the rescue community at the time (he still has a few die hard fans) and people wanted to keep up with his progress; what better way to do it than a blog? So we started a one. Amazingly people read it and enjoyed it – indeed a few times we were "told off" for not having any new stories for people to read.
As we got more invloved with greyhound resuce and Jack arrived, the site began evolving from a blog; there was all the previous Beasts – they had been part of my life and it only seemed fair that they have their space too.
We also began to understand the reality of the situation regarding the vast majority of greyhounds bred for and used by the greyhound racing industry; the number of animals killed and injured, and the abuse that many suffer. The simple facts are that for greyhounds in the racing industry:
- if they don't make the grade they are usually destroyed
- if they get injured to the point they can't race for any period of time they are often destroyed; the lucky ones are taken to rescues who then have to find the funds to treat them
- if they are too old to race they are often destroyed; again it is the lucky ones get in to rescues
In short, a greyhound in the racing industry stands about a 50–50 chance of not making it out alive; for certain, if it is not going to make its owners and trainer money its life is at risk.
It seemed only right that we use the site to try and help highlight the problem and to raise money to help the charities and rescues that are at the sharp end of things, and so The Beastly Beasts became Hounds Helping Hounds; you can find more about how we do that on the Hounds Helping Hounds page.
There have been a number of investigations and report into the greyhound racing industry over the years. Following an article in The Times about a guy named John Smith who killed ex-racing greyhounds for £10 a go, in May 2007 APGAW issued a report on greyhound welfare, in November the same year a review of the racing industry in Great Britain was published by Lord Donoughue of Ashton, and in 2009 Defra held and published the results of a consultation on proposals about the welfare of dogs used by the greyhound racing industry.
The result? I am told by one trainer I know (one of the ones who genuinely cares for their animals – if a trainer in the greyhound racing industry that cares for their dogs in not an oxymoron) that the industry is changing. But the industry still breeds far more dogs than it uses and uses many more dogs than it finds homes for, and that means there are still thousands of dogs each year that need rehoming or that are unaccounted for; even though the structure of the industry has changed it's the same people at the top and the same trainers.
Recently greyhound racing in the UK has been declining in popularity and tracks have been closing. In and of itself that is a good thing, but in order to turn a profit breeders are exporting to the Far East where animal welafare is all but non-existant. Towcester Racecourse has taken a global approach and gets money from worldwide TV rights to show the races to satisfy the global gambling market.
Regretably, while greyhound racing gets money and dogs are bred for it, many of those dogs will not be particularly well cared for and some will be kept in appauling conditions, and a lot will die. The industry advertises itself as a fun night out; a good time with a few mates, cheap drinks and food. What they omit to say is that the cheap food and drink is subsidised by the blood of the dogs that don't make it out alive.
It would be great if greyhound rescues weren't needed any more and that greyhounds being abandoned, abused, and killed for the sake of the racing industry was a thing of the past. Maybe one day, but not yet; so for now we will keep on doing what we can to help.