I first heard about dog racing in college, when a woman introduced me to her retired racing greyhound. I didn’t know how cruel the industry is until she explained some of the details.
- Greyhounds are bred to race, but most don’t make the cut–and thousands of puppies are killed each year. Many are also injured (and then killed) while training or racing. When their racing “careers” are over, greyhounds are killed or sold into medical research. Only a lucky few are rescued and adopted into homes.
- Greyhounds are muzzled and caged in cramped quarters for up to 20 hours a day. They often catch diseases in their tiny kennels because they are housed with so many other dogs.
- Greyhounds often test positive for drugs (even cocaine!) and are seen as simply racing machines, with no regard for their well-being.
- Greyhounds are gentle creatures but when they are bred to race, they are encouraged to be aggressive. Animals Australia recent blew the lid of the greyhound racing in that country when they exposed the ways trainers make their dogs more willing to chase a lure (they “blood” the dogs–basically, use live lure animals, like piglets, kittens and possums to bait the dogs, give them a taste for blood, and get them to chase a live lure during practice).
Dog racing is illegal in most states (and currently happens in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia). Commercial racing also still takes place in 7 other countries including Australia, Ireland, Macau, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam).
The races are an excuse to wager bets and try to win money, but there are other ways to gamble without abusing animals.
What to do?
- Never go to a dog race–and tell your friends and family to stay away too.
- Sign the Animals Australia petition on this page (scroll to the bottom).
- Consider adopting a greyhound. This list includes US and international adoption groups working to save greyhounds.
ASPCA’s page on greyhound racing (with downloadable report)
Grey2k website about greyhound racing
The Greyhound Cruelty page by Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Queensland
Peta factsheet about greyhound racing
Animal Rights Action post about the cruelty in the racing industry
Ten Myths about Greyhounds by Animals Australia