Suffering and Deaths of Thousands of Greyhounds Exposed in New Report

As more people and communities continue to oppose greyhound racing, a first of its kind in-depth report released by GREY2K and the ASPCA has brought to light the appalling toll this so-called sport is taking on the dogs involved.

The 80-page report, dubbed “High Stakes”, is the culmination of more than 13 years of research into the industry. It traces the controversy that has followed in greyhound racing’s wake all the way from the first legal track established in Florida in the 1930s through to 2014.

Not only does the report expose the systemic abuse of dogs that has gone on for decades within an industry that has largely been allowed to self-regulate, but also the economic cost to taxpayers who involuntarily continue to prop up this dying industry.

According to the report, since 2008 alone more than 80,000 greyhounds have been born into the racing world, while nearly 12,000 injuries have been documented, including more than 3,000 broken legs, and in addition to broken necks, crushed skulls, paralysis, seizures and electrocutions.

Another staggering 909 dogs died during that time period – 758 of them were euthanized after suffering serious injuries – but that’s believed to be a low estimate because there are no verifiable statistics on dogs who survive but are disposed of each year after they’re no longer useful.

Unfortunately, injuries and deaths aren’t the only issues affecting the welfare of greyhounds used in racing. The report also raises serious concerns about the living conditions they’re kept in, diets of 4-D meat they’re fed and other instances of abuse.  According to the report, 27 cases of animal abuse were documented, including starving dogs to death, denying them veterinary care or drugging them.

While dozens of states have taken action to ban racing, or have no tracks, it’s still legal in seven states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Texas and West Virginia. Of the 21 greyhound tracks that are still operational, 12 of them are located in Florida, which has no injury reporting requirement. In this state, a greyhound is believed to die every three days.

“For the first time, both the humane and economic costs of this cruel industry are documented for all to see,” said Christine Dorchak, president of GREY2K USA. “Taxpayers are losing money, states are doling out millions in annual subsidies, and gentle greyhounds continue to die as pawns to this antiquated industry.”

According to the Association of Racing Commissioners International, the amount of money wagered on live racing has decreased by more than half since 2001. Yet despite taking huge losses, even if some enterprises wanted to end racing, or cut back significantly, they’re not allowed to because of a coupling tactic that requires them to hold races in order to keep their gambling licenses.

Now greyhound advocates are working to use this information to lobby lawmakers in the states where tracks remain legal and operational to bring this industry to an end in the U.S. for good.

For more information on upcoming legislative efforts to end greyhound racing and on organizations working to rescue and adopt out greyhounds, visit GREY2K and their adoption page.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

107 comments

Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for the article.

SEND
Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Patrick Ridge
Patrick Ridge2 years ago

The whole Greyhound industry stinks from the top to the bottom with blooding of the greyhounds,the drugging of the greyhounds,live coursing here in Ireland,the disposal of the greyhouns when they are no longer making money etc The people who take part in this "thing" should be shamed of themselves.

SEND
Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey2 years ago

Greyhounds have been maltreated for decades all over the world. It needs to stop.

SEND
Maggie Welch
Maggie D2 years ago

If they have to continue to hold races to keep their gambling licenses, why don't they just give up their licenses? Time after time, cruel people with only profit as their goal torture animals for enjoyment. We are the ones that can make the difference. Thank you to all the caring people who are a part of the Care2 community.

SEND
Ruhee B.
Ruhee B2 years ago

Do those heartless people who support all these so called "sports" know about this or do they just not care? If we could only stop people supporting such cruelty!

SEND
luna starr
dee osborne2 years ago

horriffic

SEND
Lori Hone
Lori Hone2 years ago

Laws are ment to be challenged and changed when they aren't working. Enough people demand change they will change.

SEND
Carole R.
Carole R2 years ago

Very, very sad.

SEND
S J.
S J2 years ago

all kind of animals races and fights are so cruel, why should we make fun from suffering of other lives? we may have to work harder to vanish all of them and I shall always fight.

SEND