Greyhound Racing in the United States
Greyhound racing is now a dying industry. Since the peak of dog racing in 1985, the adoption of new state laws has led to the closure of dog racing tracks across the U.S and is now illegal in forty-one states. When greyhound racing did flourish in the United States, it came at a terrible cost to the animals who were supposed to be its stars.
Since 2013, when Florida began tracking greyhound dog deaths, 493 dogs died on its tracks – 94% of these dogs were three years old or younger. It was estimated that in 2018, when 11 tracks were operating in Florida, one dog died every three days on a track. In 2018, Floridians overwhelmingly voted to end greyhound racing, eliminating eleven of America’s seventeen remaining race tracks. Florida joined forty other states who have also outlawed greyhound racing due to animal cruelty issues and declining revenue.
The Danger of Greyhound Racing to Dogs
Greyhound racing dogs often endure lives of confinement, are subject to cruel training practices, and suffer on the track from common racing injuries including broken necks, backs, dislocations, torn muscles, and more. According to GREY2K USA, from 2010 to 2019, nearly 11,000 greyhounds suffered injuries on America’s racetracks. In that time, at least 429 racing greyhounds have died.
Kansas, where greyhound racing is still legal but not active, is a good example of this. In 2008, the Woodlands racetrack in Kansas City, Kansas, held its grand finale race and then closed its doors due to financial failure. In the last six months of operation, eighty dogs were injured. The injuries were broken legs, sprains, torn muscles, and a spinal injury. Nineteen dogs were euthanized or died while racing.
Only a few remaining states still have live greyhound racing: West Virginia, Iowa, and Arkansas—though Iowa and Arkansas’s tracks are expected to close by the end 2022.
The state of Kansas hasn't seen a greyhound race since it's final track closed in 2008. Although not active, each year our organization has to ensure that greyhound racing isn’t revived in Kansas. It can be hidden in legislation related to gambling, sports wagering, electronic gaming, etc.
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