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Save Texas’ Racing Greyhounds from Cruelty While You Can

Save Texas’ Racing Greyhounds from Cruelty While You Can

Greyhound racing isnít a sport. Itís exploitation. While many states have made progress,†Texas is still holding on to†greyhound cruelty. The public has until July 27, 2014 to help Texasí racing greyhounds before its too late.

Historic Racing Isnít an Evolution

The†ASPCA has issued an alert asking Texas to reject a new proposal aiming to authorize historic racing, also known as instant racing.

Racino (a racetrack/casino hybrid) investors are doing everything they can to keep the dying industry alive. Itís going to take other types of gambling, like the historic racing proposal, to keep the industry afloat.

Historic racing involves introducing machines that resemble slots to race tracks. Instead of colorfully animated slot characters, these machines will replay recorded greyhound (or horse) races that users can bet on. The horses would be anonymous; there wouldnít be any identifying clues about of the horsesí names, location information or dates.

As reported in the†Star-Telegram, there are two sides to the proposal that have nothing to do with greyhound dogsí welfare. Opponents of instant racing say itís nothing more than adding slot machines to race tracks, and, essentially, corrupting the industry. Supporters say Racinos need instant racing to give it a competitive edge; slot machines sell and bring in more people and more money. Supporters believe that historic racing is just the new look of wagering.

Unfortunately, while wagering is evolving, instant racing will feed millions of dollars to the struggling racing industry and be a huge step back for greyhounds.

Lose-Lose Cruelty for Greyhounds

Here are a few of the ways that greyhounds lost, according to†Animal Law, with the birth of modern greyhound racing.

Medical Neglect: Greyhounds stopped being dogs and became commodities. Itís not uncommon to find starving and dehydrated dogs living in poor conditions. Animal Law cites the story in Florida where 194 greyhounds were discovered living in their own waste.

Deadly Travel: Usually, greyhounds have to travel long distances to compete since greyhound racing is only legal in†Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Texas and West Virginia. In 95 degree weather, 31 dogs traveled 58 hours in 12 small crates with no air-conditioning.

Litter Culling: Itís not uncommon for breeders and trainers to kill the puppies that donít have the potential to perform well. During one decade, there are estimates that 85,000 puppies, sometimes as young as three months, have been killed.

Fatal Tracks: Ironically, greyhounds are often confined in tiny enclosures with little to no exercise. Some dogs have overexerted themselves on the track because of their poor muscle tone. Some injuries are beyond repair and euthanasia is the only option. There have also been cases of dogs trampling others to death and being electrocuted from the rail.

Ruthless Retirement: While a healthy greyhound can live to be 15 years old, most racing greyhounds retire, and often die, between three and five. Humane euthanization isnít usually the way they go. Many dogs are abandoned, shot, clubbed, sold to other countries, electrocuted or starved to death. Other dogs have been donated to American universities, like Iowa State University and Colorado State University, to act as test subjects for research purposes.

In 2002, authorities discovered that breeders and trainers had been giving their unwanted dogs to Robert Rhodes. For 40 years, Rhodes had been paid $10 for each dog he shot. Authorities found the remains of 3,000 greyhounds.

 

Good News for Greyhounds

Greyhound tracks that used to seat thousands are down to dozens.†Bets that reached $1 billion were down to $258 million in 2013.

In Iowa,†KMAland reports that greyhound racing is in its final months. A billís been passed to close the Dubuque track. The dogs will be in the hands of the Iowa Greyhound Association, and a retirement fund is being launched for breeders, trainers and owners who want out of the business.

Help Texasí Racing Greyhounds

Texas isnít making the same progress as Iowa. Gulf Greyhound Park, the last operating track in Texas, is looking to fund greyhound cruelty through the introduction of instant racing. A prerecorded machine canít capture the litter cullings, the cruelty, the death tramples, the electrocution and the disposal of these sweet dogs.

The Texas Racing Commission is letting the public weigh in until July 27, 2014. Make your voice heard before then by using†this ASPCA contact form asking the Commission to reject this proposal. You can also mail, call and email them†here.

Letís send a message to the horse racing industry (that is watching how this all plays out), and letís do this for the 2,080 injured and 86 killed dogs at Gulf Greyhound Park.

 

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Photo Credit: Liz West

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192 comments

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6:09AM PDT on Oct 29, 2014

A big YES to this - signed & forwarded

2:03PM PDT on Oct 26, 2014

Signed and sharing

1:33PM PDT on Oct 6, 2014

Brenda H., Plus the police have nothing to do with racing greyhounds so to say you get reports from them is simply not true. The NGA handles any problems that might occur with racing. Any police report you might get would be from private greyhound owners, not from racing greyhounds. Please educate yourself before inserting foot in mouth again.

1:28PM PDT on Oct 6, 2014

Brenda H., yes I do have greyhounds, I foster greyhounds and I find good homes for my fosters. I personally know people that own racing greyhounds and I know for a fact that they do not make money from racing them. They race them because this is what greyhounds love to do. Run. Like shepherds love to herd, greyhounds love to run. A long time ago, I thought the same stupid nonsense you do, that greyhounds are abused, mistreated, ect. Then I met the owners/trainers/handlers and got to know the truth. Years ago, greyhounds were not treated right and not given to adoption groups like they are now. But today there are so many adoption groups everywhere that 97% of greyhounds that retire or refuse to race are given to those adoption groups to find the perfect home. Do you actually think for 1 minute that the loving, trusting, sweet greyhounds we adopt would be this way if they were mistreated or not loved by their owners, handlers and trainers? I just adopted a little 2 yr. old girl that didn't want to race and she is the sweetest little girl ever. Her owner was so happy she was getting a good home that he paid himself for her transport to me. Now tell me that's a bad greyhound owner. They pay a lot of money to get a good racer, but they have a heart and love their greyhounds so much so that they are willing to let them go when they retire or won't race. You really need to stop listening to hate groups. They have no clue what really goes on. They just ASSume they know everything.

11:01AM PDT on Oct 6, 2014

Ruth H. I get my information from all the heinous news and police reports. Some of the things that have been done too these Greyhounds not only can turn your stomach but also make you fighting mad.As I stated in my earlier post, there are of course those that do take care of their dogs and then there are those that should never be allowed out without a leash or keeper.You know that no mater what area you go into there will always be the good and the bad sides.You very rarely find one without the other. And if these folks don't make any money as you say, why would they do this in the first place?Perhaps you should check with the rescues,Humane Societies,Law Enforcements,News and media and see for yourself what gos on with these beautiful and delicate creatures. You probably have Greyhounds or know someone that does and are only seeing that. Perhaps you should take off your blinders.

8:01AM PDT on Oct 6, 2014

Brenda H., I have no idea where you get your misinformation from, but you are wrong dear. Greyhound owners don't make money on their racers. It costs them a lot of money to race them. They have to pay the track owners to keep them there, they have to buy their food, they have to pay for their vet care. They don't make money on their greyhounds. Why don't you actually get to know some greyhound owners and learn for yourself. Racing greyhound owners do have other jobs. They do not rely on their greyhounds for their living. When they are done racing, they go to adoption groups to be adopted into loving families. You have a lot to learn about the real life of racing greyhounds. Go to the tracks, go behind the scenes, mingle with the trainers/owners and the greyhounds themselves. See how they really are treated and loved and taken care of. Take your blinders off. Learn the truth before inserting foot in mouth.

11:07PM PDT on Oct 5, 2014

Ruth H. Greyhound racing is no different than horse racing. These animals are used up and thrown away as soon as they become unraceable. There are a few that probably do care for there animals, but to many don't and it is the animal that suffers and pays the price. There is little to no humanity involved with racing, only the bottom line of that almighty buck.

4:27PM PDT on Oct 1, 2014

I'm glad the commission is delaying their decision to stop greyhound racing. They first have to actually go to the tracks and kennels and talk to the trainers, handlers and owners and find out the truth about racing and the care they receive. Then they will realize how safe racing is and how very well taken care of the greyhounds are, Greyhounds are spoiled, loved and healthy. Most of this article is nothing but lies. Racing is safer now than ever. No one wants to see their greyhound get injured or killed so the tracks have very strict guidelines they must follow. Please educate yourselves about the true facts of racing before making judgments.

2:04PM PDT on Oct 1, 2014

Update—August 11, 2014:
Thanks to those of you who submitted comments to express your opposition to this proposed rule. The Commission received over 13,000 comments! Because of this, the Texas Racing Commission is delaying their decision on this issue. We will keep you posted on any developments. Thanks again for your support!

6:25AM PDT on Sep 9, 2014

ty

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