Greyhound Racing: The Revolting Truth

Regina Cerasuolo

Greyhound racing – noun a sport in which greyhounds race around a circular or oval track in pursuit of a moving dummy hare and spectators bet on the outcome. It has become illegal in 40 states, and will be outlawed in Florida by the time of 2021. Although Florida is the state home to most of these tracks, residents voted to end the cruelty of Greyhound racing by 2020. But when Florida eliminates Greyhound racing, 11 tracks will be closed, leaving a remaining 6 tracks operating in the US.

Although it is illegal, Greyhounds are still being bred for racing, spending most of their lives in crates, pens, or fenced in yards without the love of a family. According to The Humane Society of the United States, these dogs spend about 20-23 hours a day within the cages, having little to mostly no play in their day. And though Greyhounds are known for being lazy, these dogs can be very playful, almost as playful as a puppy!

Greyhounds are in great danger even before they are born. Thousands are bred every year, much more than needed to race, in the attempt to birth the best dog for these terrible races. Greyhound racing industries treat the dogs like machines. GREY2k,a non-profit organization working to pass stronger Greyhound protection laws and to end the cruelty of dog racing worldwide, found that about 500-1,000 dogs are needed to operate a race track. These dogs go into the cruel industry at 18 months, and don’t “retire” until they are 4 or 5, if they are even alive by then.

Greyhounds regularly become injured while racing. GREY2k reported 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 much larger than given because Florida isn’t required to report Greyhound injuries to the public until recently. More than 1,000 Greyhounds have died on tracks since 2008.

Greyhounds die from being transported from one racetrack to another. They are kept in small cages with 2-3 dogs per cage. Dogs have been denied veterinary care and have been housed in terrible kennel conditions. In 2010, investigators discovered 32 dead at Ebro Greyhound Park Kennel in Florida. The dogs have been starved to death or died of dehydration. In West Virginia, a Greyhound named Kiowa Dutch Girl broke her leg, described as “bleeding” and “dangling,” and was left to suffer in her cage for four days.

According to PETA, Greyhounds are extremely sensitive to heat and cold, but these dogs are forced to race in extreme temperatures: from subzero temperatures to scorching heat of 100 degrees fahrenheit. Greyhounds may be drugged to improve their performance, and females are often injected with steroids, in order to prevent them going into heat on the race track. Cocaine has been found at Greyhound race tracks.

After Greyhounds “retire,” many of them are put up for adoption or sent to breeding farms, but the fate of most is unknown. Some Greyhounds are sent to blood banks, where their blood is routinely taken and sold. The dogs live in turkey pens, and are seen spinning in circles, cowering, or even urinating on themselves in the fear of being approached by a human. Thankfully the pet blood bank has been shut down and the dogs were put up for adoption.

The Greyhound racing industry is a dying industry as people learn more about the awful inhumane living conditions for these dogs. More and more people are turning to casinos, practicing poker and gambling in a more humane way.

7,000 puppies born each year will never get to race and are killed. Up to 17,000 healthy Greyhounds are killed every year. Most Greyhounds will die before their 5th birthday.
5 dogs every week are killed on the race track. Piglets, possums, rabbits, and kittens are all victims of brutal live baiting. When dogs aren’t racing, most lead lives of deprivation. 


The quotes you are about to read are quite disturbing, but it’s the ugly truth about this horrible “sport” that puts these vulnerable animals in a situation no living thing should ever have to go through.

“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.”

“In April 2014, the skull of a 1-year-old greyhound named Colt Maximus was crushed in a training race at the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack in West Virginia.”

“A 3-year-old greyhound named LNB Night Mare was electrocuted after she collided with another dog and crashed into the electrified rail during a race in March 2014 at Tucson Greyhound Park in Arizona.”

Unfortunately, Greyhound racing isn’t completely illegal, but organizations, such as GREY2k, The Humane Society of the United States, and local organizations like Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption, are helping to put an end to this horrible “sport.”

If you would like to donate to any of the organizations mentioned, please do not hesitate to search the web for these places.