Greyhound racing is on the wane—it's now illegal in 40 states and will be phased out in Florida by 2021. But greyhounds still bred for racing spend most of their time in crates, pens or fenced enclosures without the love of a family. We can eliminate greyhound racing through education, compassion and action.
Greyhounds are at a disadvantage even before they are born. Thousands are bred annually—many more than are needed to race—in an attempt to create the fastest dogs. Cruel methods are often used to dispose of unwanted dogs and the dogs that do survive in the industry are forced to live in cramped conditions. These social creatures are forced to spend most of their time alone, confined to cages for 20-23 hours a day and denied the opportunity to walk or play. Many racing dogs suffer injuries while racing and according to state records, a racing greyhound dies every three days on a Florida track.
- What is wrong with greyhound racing?
- Aren’t greyhounds used for racing well cared for?
- Does greyhound racing contribute to dog overpopulation?
- How does the American public feel about greyhound racing?
- Is greyhound racing inhumane?
- Are dogs injured in greyhound racing?
- Are there other welfare concerns with greyhound racing?
- Is the greyhound industry in decline?
- Does greyhound racing cost taxpayers money?
- Are racing greyhounds drugged?
- Are greyhounds used in racing given anabolic steroids?
- What are racing greyhounds fed?
- Is disease transmission a concern with greyhound racing?
- Does greyhound racing help the economy?
- Why would greyhound trainers treat the dogs they rely upon in an inhumane way?
- Don’t people in the industry love their dogs?
- Don’t the dogs get recreational time each day?
- Isn’t greyhound racing highly regulated?
What is wrong with greyhound racing?
Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane and there is no place for it in the modern era. When it first emerged in the United States in the early 20th century, supporters did not know that hundreds of thousands of dogs would suffer and die.
Since then, our society has evolved and dog racing is out of sync with society’s values toward animals. Today, this kind of wasteful and needless suffering is rejected as a form of gambling or entertainment. According to government records now available, common racing injuries include broken necks and broken backs, dislocations, torn muscles and paralysis. Electrocutions have also occurred when dogs make contact with a track’s high voltage lure. Some dogs die on the racetrack while others are put down due to the severity of their injuries or simply because of their diminished value as racers
Aren’t greyhounds used for racing well-cared for?
Racing greyhounds endure lives of confinement, are subject to standard practices that are cruel and suffer injuries and even death. Greyhounds used for racing are kept in cages, barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around, for up to 23 hours per day. Shredded paper or carpet remnants are used as bedding.
Does greyhound racing contribute to dog overpopulation?
Yes. Historically as many as 10,000 greyhounds have been bred annually. The racing industry exacerbates an overproduction of dogs, which simply displaces other homeless animals and diverts resources needed to address other animal welfare challenges.
How does the American public feel about greyhound racing?
Increased public awareness that dog racing is cruel and inhumane, in addition to competition from other forms of gambling, has led to the nationwide decline of greyhound racing.
Increasingly, citizens around the country are mobilizing in opposition to greyhound racing and lawmakers are responding. In November 2018, the citizens of Florida voted to phase out greyhound racing by an overwhelming majority—nearly 70%. In 2017, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation to prohibit dog racing in his state, declaring that “greyhound racing has run its course in Arizona. It’s heartening that these beautiful greyhounds will soon be off the track and into loving homes.” Other states that have passed legislation prohibiting dog racing over the last decade include Massachusetts (2010), Rhode Island (2010), New Hampshire (2010) and Colorado (2014). South Dakota allowed its authorization for live dog racing to expire in December 2011.
Is greyhound racing inhumane?
Yes. Thousands of dogs in this industry are kept in kennel compounds. These compounds are comprised of long narrow buildings with “turn-out” pens: Fenced-in dirt runs where dogs are “turned out” and allowed to relieve themselves. In these compounds, dogs are kept in warehouse-style kennels in rows of stacked metal cages. According to Florida state records, dog track cages measure 36 inches by 36 inches by 42 inches. Shredded paper or carpet remnants are used as bedding. According to a 2006 state investigative report, racing greyhounds are “normally confined” for “20 to 23 hours per day.”
Does greyhound racing help the economy?
No. Greyhound racing is on the wane and not sustainable. Currently, 40 states outlaw commercial greyhound racing and in community after community, dog racing has been replaced by more modern forms of entertainment.
Since 2001, more than 30 dog tracks have closed around the country and dog racing now represents less than one percent of all wagers placed each year in the United States. There are only 17 dog tracks remaining in the U.S. today, 11 of which are located in Florida until they are forced to close by December 31, 2020.
Why would greyhound trainers treat the dogs they rely upon in an inhumane way?
This is a profit-driven industry and those involved are always looking for ways to cut costs and maximize profits. Dogs are only valued if they earn money for their owners. If they stop making money, it is economically expedient to discard the poorly performing dogs and breed new ones, perpetuating the never-ending cycle of cruelty.
Don’t people in the industry love their dogs?
People who love dogs treat them like they are part of the family, not like profit machines. This industry is not built on love, it is built on profiting from the exploitation of dogs.