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.


Photo Credit: Liz West


Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Ruth Hagenbaugh
Ruth Hagenbaugh2 years ago

Valentina R. Racing greyhounds aren't dumped after they retire. They go to adoption groups to be adopted into loving homes. The only greyhounds you buy are not racing greyhounds. They are from private breeders. You adopt retired racers. Racing greyhounds are loved and spoiled by their owners.

Valentina R.
Valentina R2 years ago

If you wish to own a Greyhound, don't buy one: adopt him/her from a specific breed rescue or a local shelter. There are so many dumped racing dogs looking for a home.

Ruth Hagenbaugh
Ruth Hagenbaugh2 years ago

Christine J., I would certainly hope people would believe me as I am correct in what I say. If you are so involved with racing greyhounds, then you would know the truth about the great care they get. Have you been to the farms and/or kennels yourself? Have you talked to the owners/trainers personally? If you witnessed any abuse or neglect have you reported it to the NGA? Greyhounds only race once or twice a week. After they race they get whirlpool baths, rubdowns and cool off times in cooling tanks. They get treats, love and spoiling. You have really no idea about the real lives of racing greyhounds. Greyhounds that are used for hunting is another story completely. Nothing good about that. Besides this stupid petition is almost a year old already. It's old news that needs to be gone from the internet.

Christine Jones
Christine J2 years ago

As a person with extensive experience in the racing industry, as well as being involved with greyhounds after their working life ends, I can tell you Brenda H. that you are spot on and accurate with your observations.

Ruth H., I really try my best to only put positive and helpful comments on Care2, but I cannot let your misinformation go unchallenged, just in case someone who doesn't know any different believes you. Your comments are so very wrong that it's hard to believe you would put them in writing.

Let me paraphrase the fabulous Lyn White who exposed the most recent scandal (one of many), involving live baiting of small animals. "Where gambling and animals mix, it turns men (and women) into monsters".

Lea Silhol
Lea Silhol3 years ago

A big YES to this - signed & forwarded

Axa T.
Axa T3 years ago

Signed and sharing

Ruth Hagenbaugh
Ruth Hagenbaugh3 years ago

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.

Ruth Hagenbaugh
Ruth Hagenbaugh3 years ago

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.

Brenda Hixenbaugh

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.