Every year thousands of greyhounds die, and its our fault. Greyhounds are dogs born and bred to race against each other, their life expectancy is 10-12 years but because of racing incidents such as heart attacks, heatstroke, electrocution, fractured skulls, broken necks, and more than 3,000 broken legs every year, most racing greyhounds only survive for 1-3 years. Until recently it wasnt even required to report greyhound injuries and deaths to the public, meaning the death and injury statistics are undoubtedly higher. Just think about that.. these animals are supposed to be “Man’s best friend”.
In September 2015, a one-year old greyhound named Kells Crossfire was euthanized after she hit the rail and snapped her neck during a race. In 2016 three-year old Nightmare was electrocuted to death after she collided with another dog and fell into an electrocuted rail. In 2017 investigators discovered 32 dead greyhounds at a racing track, they had been starved to death and left for weeks.
MANS BEST FRIEND
There’s a reason dogs are classed as “man’s best friend”. A dogs personality projects loyalty, companionship and the willingness to provide unconditional love towards their families, as humans we should take notes. Do you have a dog? If you do I want you to now imagine them starving, locked in a dirty dark and cold cage, crying out for your help. Now imagine yourself stored night after night in the same conditions with nothing to eat or drink for weeks until you win the school cross country. If you don’t place your tortured, abandoned, starved or even straight up murdered.
Greyhounds begin racing at 18 months, but it is uncommon that many make it to the retirement age of 4 or 5. Like i said earlier, this is because of racing injuries, but another main cause of the low survival rate is because of the cruel and harsh conditions that are forced upon the dogs off field. Since 2016 nearly 1000 racing greyhound deaths have been confirmed in New Zealand. Because of their thin coats and lack of body fat greyhounds are extremely sensitive to the heat and cold. In some parts of the world the dogs are forced to race in extreme conditions, ranging from sweltering heats of more than 100 degrees to subzero temperatures. Many dogs die travelling from track to track. its not uncommon to find many trucks transporting up to 60 greyhounds at a time. Instead of air conditioning the truck floors are lined with ice and on a hot summers day the backs of many trucks reach deadly conditions for animals that can’t sweat to cool themselves.
Since 2016 there has been at least 36 reported cases of greyhound neglect or abuse. In the last two years 1447 racing greyhounds have been euthanized in New Zealand and alarmingly there were still a further 1271 that were unaccounted for. On the morning of March 4th 2013, a greyhound named Kiowa Dutch Girl broke her leg and was left to suffer in her cage for four days. One of the kennel workers described her leg as “”bleeding and dangling” and admitted that she had been left panting heavily and in pain. For the few minutes that greyhounds spend on the track they spend up to 20 hours in cages and are kept muzzled. Many dogs experience muzzle and crate sores, and suffer from infections and infestations both internal and external. A man in 2017 was charged with cruelty to animals when 10 greyhounds were found dehydrated and malnourished on his farm.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN DOGS DON’T WIN
So I’ve told you about transportation, the conditions, abuse and injuries, but what really happens to the greyhounds that don’t win? In 2012, the remains of approximately 3,000 greyhounds were discovered on the property of a former race track security guard. He had been “retiring” the unwanted losing dogs with a 22 caliber rifle for more than 40 years. The security guard faced up to 10 years in prison for animal cruelty charges, his attorney argued “If there’s anybody to be indicted here, it’s the industry because this is what they’re doing to these animals. The misery begins the day they’re born. The misery ends when my client gets a hold of them and puts a bullet in their head.” Some lucky greyhounds are put up for adoption, others are sent to breeding farms and the fate of the remaining retired dogs is unknown. In the early 2000’s a greyhound was placed in the middle of a wet floor surrounded by partying racetrack employees. A man then attached an alligator clip to her lip and shoved a metal wire into her rectum and began electrocuting her. She was taken from her cage because she wasn’t fast enough.
Greyhound racing is legal in only eight countries, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, USA, Vietnam, China and Mexico. Only 19 tracks remain in the USA and is fortunately in decline. From the points i have elaborated on I hope you understand that greyhound racing is a cruel and useless sport that injuries and kills on average 25, 000 greyhounds around the world every year. When racing seasons end hundreds of dogs are in need of shelters and placements. Although adoption companies assist in helping, the only way to truly save the cruelty inflicted on the sweet animals we call our loyal companions is to end the races themselves that murder them. What do you think is right?