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Skechers Glamorizes Greyhound Racing in Superbowl Ad

Skechers Glamorizes Greyhound Racing in Superbowl Ad

I’m not much of a Kim Kardashian fan. But, I also wouldn’t have signed a petition protesting her appearance in last year’s Skechers Super Bowl ad. However, this year, I signed a petition targeted to Michael Greenberg and Gary Patrick, president and vice president of media at Skechers. They filmed the Skechers Super Bowl commercial at Tuscon Greyhound Park, known to be one of the most inhumane of all the Greyhound racing tracks. Their ad features a small dog wearing Skechers shoes running neck in neck with Greyhounds wearing racing jackets. While the Humane Society said that no animals were harmed in the making of the advertisement, thousands of racing Greyhounds have been treated very inhumanely in racing tracks.

I spoke to dog Trainer Jo Jacques, CDBC, CPDT-KA, who has fostered eight racing Greyhounds in total. She told me, “Some of the dogs have a really hard time adjusting once off the track – others are a breeze. In my opinion, a lot depends on how they were treated at the kennel. The favorites get a lot more socialization and people time than the others.”

Jo started fostering Greyhound racing dogs because she is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer and knows how to deal with difficult dogs. “We’ve adopted several, but fostering is always helpful first because they are under-socialized and don’t know how to live in a home. They might be petrified of stairs, of trucks, of kids running up to them, or may be fearful of many other things. They don’t know what stairs are. Their entire life has been on one level. A good positive trainer can help their dog adjust properly. Out of 10 fosters, maybe three were socialized enough to accept new experiences. Three wouldn’t come out of the crates for two weeks. If you go to a race track to adopt, they unfortunately only ask for money and a drivers license. But, you have to have a lot of skill and experience to adopt a Greyhound who was raised in a track. They are the sweetest dogs, but are often fearful because of the conditions they’ve spent their lives in. They need a lot of help getting used to life. It’s a problem similar to any under socialized animal.”

In my desire to help retired racing Greyhounds adjust to a new life, we donate Through a Dog’s Ear music to Greyhound Pets of America, a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding responsible homes for retired racing greyhounds.

What do you think? Should Skechers air their Super Bowl ad showing Greyhound racing dogs running against  a small dog wearing Skechers shoes? If you think they should take down the ad, please sign the petition. Thanks for also voicing your opinion in a comment below and by taking our poll?

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Read more: Animal Rights, Behavior & Communication, Dogs, Pets, , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.

82 comments

+ add your own
8:34AM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

Those who are so desperate to go after the big bucks will do anything, anyharm to anybody. This is one of those greedy for profitiering money hungry people created ad. to get the attention of customers. They will have no kindness or the compassionate towards any living beings. These voiceless & defenceless Grey hounds are being mistreated or abused all the time & all the while when they are being kept locked up for mere purpose of racing. Out side world does know very little about these innocent animals sufferings in the hands of those scumbags. NO Sketchers needed by any person who has got a heart. Shame on the ones who spend money on this crap.

9:20AM PST on Jan 30, 2013

I really love my Skechers shapeups. But only because they are comfortable. If you want to loose weight or get fit, the only way is by going to the gym or start to eat healthy. No shortcuts there.

But if you want a great pair of shoes, go for it.
You can get them at www.skechersonlineshoes.com

3:04AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Sanja, I've seen the commercial recently, and first of all, it does not glamorize Greyhound racing. The entire suggestion that it does is ridiculous. The commercial only promotes an athletic shoe where the suggestion or implication is made, makes someone of less ability have MORE ability or athleticism. In the commercial, which is extremely brief, a little Boston Terrier blows by a field of Greyhounds and crosses the finish line, whirls around and faces them still approaching. He's wearing bright red Sketchers. It's funny as heck, actually.

BTW, my Sketchers are the most comfortable shoes I've ever had, but to each, their own.

2:55AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

NO shoes from Skechers for my family or me. They are anyway uncomfortable!

1:12PM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

thank you

4:36AM PST on Feb 22, 2012

Linda A.

those were YOUR TWO tennets.
maybe go meet more people "in the biz" to see if it is the case?

3:16PM PST on Feb 14, 2012

This is so sad...

8:35PM PST on Feb 3, 2012

I was glad to see this article about the treatment of greyhounds (and other dogs)
during training and their lives in general. I was not aware of it until I had two tenants who were
"in the biz". One was a Humane Society employee who guaranteed the animals
were not abused during filming. The other was an animal keeper at a training
site near Hollywood. He told me that the dogs were kept in small crates all day and all nite except for an hour or two of training daily. Once a week or so, if some one had time,
they got a 15 minute walk. Mostly they were in their crates, ate their bedding out of boredom. These were beautiful, purebred labs, great danes, etc. Who is monitoring their
living conditions off set? This experience really changed my attitude about "enjoying" watching pets in movies and commercials.... Just my experience. Linda

2:57PM PST on Feb 3, 2012

So it's alright to parade dogs around in dogshows, degrade them in silly outfits for pleasure of others, but when a commercial is made with a dog wearing shoes at a track, it's in bad taste? Really? People get up in arms over a commercial that is nothing more than a joke for no reason. If it was truly an inappropriate commercial, it wouldn't have even been cleared for television. People these days need to lighten up, Sketchers obviously wasnt trying to promote dog races. And refusing to buy anymore of their products because of one commercial? That makes you seem like a bigger idiot than Sketchers.

5:06PM PST on Feb 1, 2012

I won't buy from Skechers period!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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