Greyhound Racing in the United States
Greyhound racing is a dying industry. Since its peak in 1985, forty-one states have made greyhound racing either illegal or unauthorized, leading to the closure of dog racing tracks across the U.S. In 2018, Floridians overwhelmingly voted to end greyhound racing, eliminating eleven of America’s seventeen remaining race tracks. Only nine states currently authorize commercial live greyhound racing, and of these states, three have active greyhound tracks, and only West Virginia has no plans to close its remaining tracks.
The Danger of Greyhound Racing to Dogs
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. 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.
Since Florida began tracking greyhound deaths in 2013, 493 dogs have died on its tracks, 94% of which were three years old or younger. Before Florida’s 2018 vote repealing greyhound racing, an estimated one dog died on its 11 tracks every three days. 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.
In 2008, the Woodlands racetrack in Kansas City, Kansas, held its grand finale race and then closed its doors due to financial failure. During the last six months of operation, eighty dogs were injured with 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 closing at the end of 2022.
There have been no live greyhound races in Kansas since the Woodlands 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, and more.
Join us! Sign up to receive updates about our progress, how you can help, and more!