If you throw a dog a bone, he will fetch it and run right back. It’s that same natural instinct that has trapped thousands of dogs in a life of abuse and confinement. Greyhound racing is a “sport” in which dogs race against one another on a track…much like horse racing. However, horses aren’t nearly as subjected to the pain and torture that greyhounds endure while in training.
According to GREY2K USA, a national non-profit organization dedicated to passing stronger greyhound protection laws and ending the cruelty of dog racing, thousands of dogs are seriously injured each year at commercial racetracks–often they are killed when they are injured or no longer fast enough to race. An estimated 50,000 puppies are bred for the industry each year and only a small portion even make it to the track. Most are abandoned or euthanized at a young age if they are deemed non-profitable.
Greyhound-racing tracks hold hundreds of dogs at a time in small, dark cages–sometimes for days on end. These dogs are fed contaminated meat products and steroids to strengthen their muscles at an accelerated speed. (GREY2k USA) Greyhound Pets of America has worked hard to free the caged dogs and find homes for them across the country. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of what goes on in these tracks. In fact, only four states in the United States have outlawed this means for gambling. Arizona is not one them.
The Tucson Greyhound Park “has been providing family entertainment to Southern Arizona for over six decades.” Aww, thanks. The park is run and operated 7 days a week and is ‘home’ to thousands of neglected greyhounds. The overall loss of interest in the sport has left Tucson Greyhound Park as the sole racetrack in the entire state, but it still generates enough revenue to stay afloat.
I recently joined the SunDevils for Wildlife Conservation, an organization on campus that aims to bring awareness to the mistreatment and abuse of animals. Their first initiative is to write a petition urging to shut down TGP and outlaw greyhound racing in Arizona. I’m excited to be part of this effort and will even be attending a protest in Tucson sometime next month (stay tuned for pictures…if I make it through my first protest).
The decline of investors for the sport has been great for future dogs, but still leaves thousands of greyhounds left without anyone to care for them. I encourage anyone who is interested in having a lovable companion to consider adopting a homeless greyhound. All they want is a backyard to run around in…not a race track.