Those races are Greyhound Races!
At its very core, greyhound racing is controlled by gambling. It is big business, with total disregard for the dogs. However, the cruelty of this industry is being exposed more and more with each passing day. The majority of people attending these races are blind to what actually happens to these animals in their day to day life. Little do they know, or care, what kind of life these dogs lead. It is our job to inform them that the life of the racing Greyhound is one of misery, fear, mistreatment, and all too often, death at a young age. A few years back, the remains of approximately 3,000 Greyhounds from Florida tracks were discovered on the Alabama property of a track security guard who “took care” of unwanted dogs with a .22 rifle. Their horrible life began the day they were born, and ended the day they died. Some may say, you’re hashing up stuff from years ago…well, that may be true, but it still happened and it continues to happen, it is just that the people involved are being more careful about covering their tracks. It is believed that there are still, despite rescue groups best efforts, approximately 20,000 to 25,000 greyhounds destroyed each year.
The life of a racing greyhound is harsh as they are not considered as a living animal, but rather a commodity, a running machine. The truth about greyhound racing is that thousands of Greyhounds are produced each year, many more than are needed. Dogs that are considered as too slow to make it are killed. If they win they live to race another day. If they lose they stand a good chance to die. Very few dogs make it to 4 or 5 years old. Many suffer from heatstroke, heart attack, injuries, sickness, broken legs, parasitic infections, etc. At all too many tracks dogs suffer from constant neglect and isolation. Cramming them in crates for transport to the track, sometimes a hundred miles or more, many will die on the trip, suffering from
malnutrition, and dehydration. Any dog that slows down or becomes unprofitable stands a good chance of being killed. One kennel owner faced felony charges for selling over 1,000 such Greyhounds for “medical experimentation”.
Greyhound breeders produce hundreds more animals than are needed. Any one of them that is lacking outstanding running ability stands a better than average chance of being killed. Remember, this is about money and gambling and a “non income producing” greyhound will not be tolerated. Few make it very far as racers, most ending up in a quick grave. The tracks in an effort to make more money have paid lobbyists to get legislatures to pass laws favoring gambling. Even if your state has banned Greyhound racing, it is likely that it has breeding kennels for supplying dogs to other states.
Each year thousands of young Greyhounds who do not display potential to make money are “disposed of.” Some are sent to be killed at Veterinary offices, animal shelters, research labs, or any place that will finish them off quickly. Every year thousands of Greyhound puppies meet death allegedly from “natural causes” when in reality they are destroyed on the puppy farms. Very few of these pups are ever delivered to rescue groups. Many end up in a dumpster.
Documented “disposal” methods include: euthanasia, mass euthanasia, gunshot, starvation, bludgeoning, donated for medical research, abandonment, sale to racing interest in third world countries, electrocution, hanging, and strangulation. In earlier years an ice pick shoved in the heart was a favorite method of disposal. Miami, at one time, used a decompression chamber to kill thousands.
Greyhound pups are bred by operators holding 500 or more dogs. The litter can be
1-13, with 7 being average. After being sent to training farms, traveling in cramped quarters, many dogs arrive at their final destination dead. Most are discarded after racing only a short time. Many Greyhounds that did not show potential for profit during training are killed before even having a chance to race at a track.
The average greyhound racing kennel maintains around 60 to 80 dogs. Some “cheap” tracks often hold 200. An average track known as a “compound” with 15 kennels may house 1000 dogs. Living conditions at some tracks are disgustingly brutal, and an injury deemed to costly to treat can mean instant death.
Why doesn’t the Government do something about the situation? Because Greyhound racing is a State mandated business. The Federal Government has no control over it. State regulations many times prove to be a conspiracy of silence…the old, hear no evil speak no evil. Everyone knows what is going on but few are willing to do anything about it. Even though some of the above mentioned is starting to recede because of more people getting involved in rescue groups and finding homes for more dogs, unfortunately either knowingly or unknowingly, many rescue groups themselves perpetuate this cycle of abuse because their parent organizations are in part funded by the racing industry and therefore they (members) are given strict orders to not say anything negative about the industry. The industry uses the threat of not turning any dogs over to that group if they do.