Historically as many as 10,000 greyhounds have been bred annually. The racing industry exacerbates an overproduction of dogs, which simply displaces other homeless animals and diverts resources needed to address other animal welfare challenges.
The greyhound racing industry treats dogs like machines. For the few minutes that they spend on a track during a race, they spend up to 23 hours a day confined to a cramped cage or kennel. According to GREY2K USA Worldwide, an average of between 500 and 1,000 dogs are required in order to operate a racetrack. They start racing at 18 months old, and many don’t make it to the nominal “retirement” age of 4 or 5.
Greyhounds routinely sustain serious injuries while racing. GREY2K documented more than 15,000 injuries—including broken legs, broken backs, head trauma, and electrocution—between January 2008 and April 2018. The total number of injuries is undoubtedly far higher, since Florida wasn’t even required to report greyhound injuries to the public until recently. While that state is home to more than half the nation’s tracks, in November 2018, residents overwhelmingly voted to end greyhound racing there by 2020.
More than 1,000 greyhounds have died on tracks since 2008. In Florida alone, state records show that a greyhound used for racing dies every three days (on average). Some examples of the deaths include the following:
- In July 2017, a 2-year-old greyhound named TNT Quiet Riot was euthanized after breaking her neck during a race at the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club.
- Romancandle crashed and died on the Tri-State Greyhound Park (now known as Mardi Gras Casino & Resort) track in West Virginia in August 2016.
As the public learns about the miserable lives of greyhounds forced to race, the industry’s days are numbered. Younger gamblers are more interested in casinos and poker. In recent years, the total amount of money gambled on greyhound races nationwide has plummeted.