{Take Action Tuesday} Greyhound Racing

It’s the first-ever installment of “Take Action Tuesdays” and after all of the positive feedback I received, I have to believe you all are as excited as I am!  This weeks topic may come as a surprise to you, as it’s not a topic I have ever really discussed here: Greyhound racing.

We all know my passion lies with pit bulls, but despite the fact that greyhounds and pit bulls have polar opposite physiques, they share a trait that links them and therefore makes me passionate about their well-being as well: they are animals suffering at the hands of selfish humans.  (I should hope you all know by now that things like head shape aren’t what I truly care about, and my real passion lies with animal advocacy as a whole; from pit bulls to greyhounds to mice all being of equal importance!)

Image from Google Images

Image from Google Images

Pit bulls are commonly used for dog fighting, a form of entertainment for low life scum.  Greyhounds are commonly used for dog racing, another form of entertainment for low life scum some people.  Both are also forms of income for said individuals.  At the very core, the issue lies in the fact that many people view animals as property that are on Earth simply to serve us in some manner.  This is an entire post for another day though, and for now we shall focus on the topic at hand.  To say it simply, greyhounds are bred to profit the breeders, then the racers, while living in cruel conditions, all to then ultimately need rescuing–that is if they aren’t killed first.  I will refrain from going into the gory details but you can click here for concise explanations of why greyhound racing is wrong and should be ended.  Should you care to read more, trust me, a simple Google search will give you more details that you would care to have.

Image from Google Images

Image from Google Images

In Florida, law requires that if you are going to have gambling onsite, you have to have live racing.  Almost always that means dog racing.  This means for anyone that wants to open any sort of gambling venue (usually poker rooms) they have to also bring with it this cruel sport.  Most venues house around 1,000 dogs at any time!  Decoupling the racing from the gambling would mean that racing is no longer required and these gambling facilities could now legally operate without racing. As it stands now, the racing industry is being subsidized by the other gambling. Without this subsidy there would likely be a decrease in racing activity in the sport as it is forced to rely on its own market.  Additionally, at this time Florida and Alabama are the only two states that do not require injuries be reported.  It is proven that by reporting injuries, the number of injuries will decrease.  Perhaps because no one wants to have to admit that what they are doing is actually very dangerous and harmful?  Seems like it to me!

webmap

  So, while this is a brief overview that is fairly specific to Florida we can all still get involved!  If you live in Florida, click here and you will be brought to a form that you can personalize and then easily submit to the Senate Gambling Committee.  Session isn’t until March, but now is a good time to act because together we can flood their inboxes with our opinions on this barbaric matter.  Don’t live in Florida?  Click here to visit the Grey2k website (where the map above is from) and you will see a plethora of ways to get involved.  Take Action!

Update!  I quickly learned that this is topic is even more heated than I realized.  I want to be clear about something: I welcome all comments and views, even if they oppose mine, IF they are presented in a respectful manner.  If you bash another person, on either side of this debate, you will be banned.  Period.  This is my blog and while I am fully aware that I frequently write things that people disagree with, I will not tolerate rude or disrespectful behavior.  Additionally, my blog is simply not set up to handle videos in the comments.  It causes it to crash and I have therefore had to delete nearly all of the videos that have been posted.  I am not “hiding” anything, I am simply trying to keep my blog operational.  Thank you.  

Update #2: While I am thrilled to have written a post so that so many people are passionate about, the comments left by a handful of people, who could not respect my requests to keep this space mature and respectful, have gotten completely out of control I have elected to disable any further comments on this post.  Thank you.

70 thoughts on “{Take Action Tuesday} Greyhound Racing

  1. Thank you for this excellent post on this cruel “sport”! This sadistic practice must end! A therapy dog I once had the pleasure of meeting was a rescued Greyhound. Much like my beloved pit bulls, this dog was amazingly sweet and gentle. The tattoo on this dog’s ear was a grim reminder of a tragic past. You are to be commended for your courage in taking a standing against this!

    • That’s awesome! I actually used to pet sit for two rescued former racers. I couldn’t find any data to support this by I have a theory that every greyhound living in a home has come from a racing background and been saved by a rescue. I have literally never heard of or seen anything about greyhound puppies or met one that wasn’t from a rescue. Which is fantastic that they have such a supportive rescue base, but it just kind of proves that this is not an every day breed that you find in shelters or come from back yard breeders. They have a very specific market. Anyways, glad to hear your friend adopted one!

      • Yes – I completely agree, I have never heard of bred greyhounds. They really are great (both awesome and large) housepets! I wonder if racing was eliminated, would the breed be also? Or would we have breeders come out?

      • The argument is sometimes made by breeders or racing advocates that “if you close down all the tracks, the Greyhound will disappear as a breed.” It is nothing more than a scare tactic, and is complete and total [hokum]. The industry is trying anything and everything it possibly can to stop us from closing down the racetracks. The ONLY way Greys would disappear is if EVERYONE with breedable Greys chose to destroy ALL of them so that no one else can have them. It will not surprise me in the least to see some of the breeders do that as the tracks are closed down (if for no other reason than to spite us (especially Grey2KUSA.org), but most will try to continue selling them, even if the profit is not as large.
        Be Well to all the Greys and to all of you (us) who are working to save this amazing creature from this horrid industry.

      • There are show-bred Greyhounds. The breed will not die out if racing ends. The horrendous cruelty to racing Greyhounds will be the only thing to end. Just google “show greyhounds”.
        I found a racing Greyhound as she was trying to cross the highway near where I lived. I lured her close enough for me to catch her and put her in my car. I looked up the information and her ear tattoo and wrote to her breeder. No one ever came forward for her. So, Sunny, became a part of my family of Whippets. She was a wonderful, loving and sweet dog. I miss you, Sunny.

      • AKC Greyhounds and NGA (National Greyhound Association) Greyhounds are not the same. No independently bred Greyhound will ever be the same as a racing Greyhound. Two very, very different things. Racing Greyhounds are the wonderful creatures they are because they race not in spite of it.

      • Again, my boy was literally terrified of being around anyone! Then, he learned to love my wife and I. Then, a neighbor. Then, a couple people at the blood Center where we volunteered. It was 6 or 8 years before he finally became less than scared of every person who approached. Any suggestion that it is the racetrack life that makes them so amazing is amazingly, demonstrably untrue. See the “Secret Life” clip in this collection to see how they are actually treated, and try to find the greyhound with the smile. Hint: there are not any in these photos taken by a racing supporter. youtube*com/watch?v=V8Ym1SFhKxc&list=PLsDIMpuLhLPFEcElOgpf3lITUk4NsHZK-#t=39 contains “Secret Life of Greyhound Puppies,” among many others

        Racing is a dying industry, which means that fewer and fewer Greys are dying every year. Even in 1999, there were 20K to 30K killed every year. Because of the hard work of so many groups, there are only 10K to 20K killed every year, now. That is still 20K too many, but we are chiseling it downward by educating the public, much of it by using the industry’s own videos.

    • I actually didn’t realize just how cruel it was until recent years either. But that’s why we have to continue spreading the word, so everyone can begin to learn the truth. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thanks for this great post. I hope this races will be history soon. Even the races in spain where they kill a lot of this wonderful dogs every year when the race season ends.

    • The GALGOs in Spain need to be rescued because hunters dispose of them when the hunting season ends. Pls. Get your facts straight.

      • They kill the Podencos&Galgos (by hanging) when they are not good enough in races too. Dogs&friends rescued some of formerly racing dogs there. Since the last race track closed in 2007, they still have non legal races there.

  3. That Florida law is bizarre. We’ve heard too greyhound owners at the dog park in South Carolina talk about how their dogs were fortunate to end up in rescue because they’re usually put down if they don’t win one of their first 3 races.

    • That is an absolute lie! It defies logic. Greyhounds are expensive. They stay on the farms with their mother and siblings until they are one year old. Then they go to the training farm where they put on more muscle and learn to run on a racetrack. All of this time the owner is paying for board and then training. By the age of 18 months or so they go to the track. Sometimes it takes lots of practice for a dog to win a race. Does it make any sense to you that after all that time and money someone would just put one down if it didn’t win one of its first races. I think not. Greyhounds are superb athletes. When their career is over they are retired and adopted out. Not rescued! Rescued from what?

      • Oops, Bev! Please forgive me. I forgot one of your favorite vids! You remember. The one you sued to try and remove from YouTube? Yeah. Go to “Playlist” in the upper left corner, and click on “The Secret Life of Greyhound Puppies.” Yeah, I remember how much you love that one. Come on back and be sure to point out all the Greys with smiles on their faces, won’t you?

      • youtube*com/watch?v=V8Ym1SFhKxc&list=PLsDIMpuLhLPFEcElOgpf3lITUk4NsHZK-#t=39 contains “Secret Life of Greyhound Puppies,” among many others

      • Which of these videos are lies, again? Most of them come from your own cameras, so let us know which ones you object to your own cruel industry recording. (Note: my previous attempts to provide this info kept crashing Morgan’s blog, so here they are in a different form. Copy the links and replace the asterisk * with a period. The fourth one down is the one they REALLY don’t want you to see. Click on the down arrow at the upper left and select “Secret Life”. Do ANY of those Greys look like happy dogs to you?

        Youtube*com/watch?v=5AndNefxlJw tattoo
        youtube*com/watch?v=GEjYcjUWu5A Birthday Toy
        youtube*com/watch?v=V8Ym1SFhKxc&list=PLsDIMpuLhLPFEcElOgpf3lITUk4NsHZK-#t=39 contains “Secret Life of Greyhound Puppies,” among many others
        Youtube*com/watch?v=nZjzY3COods At 1:24, black Grey falls. At 1:26, white-black Grey with blue coat turns head when his racemate screams in agony
        youtube*com/watch?v=xcQnR99jZDI Greyhound disaster
        Youtube*com/watch?v=GEjYcjUWu5A&list=UUkv6T2NHXuE3MkKMNLe4RgQ&index=24
        grey2kusa*org/newsvideo/?gclid=CMDykemI7a4CFSoGRQodpTyuKA bolt gun
        youtube*com/watch?v=6yR9c4vEbJI&feature=related
        greyhounds*org/gpl/contents/media_cases.html
        youtube*com/watch?v=1tLAtBG__bY …
        youtube*com/watch?v=nZjzY3COods
        greyhounds*org/gpl/contents/media_cases.html
        planetgreyhound*com/2011/11/19/greyhound-racing-beyond-the-track/
        planetgreyhound*com/tag/greyhound-abuse/
        youtube*com/watch?v=xcQnR99jZDI
        youtube*com/watch?v=FDNR2b6u9fc
        youtube*com/watch?v=33ONJruz7IY&feature=related
        change*org/en-GB/petitions/defragovuk-abolish-the-use-of-the-captive-bolt-gun-to-destroy-greyhounds-in-the-uk
        youtube*com/watch?v=ayrI5OTOkjw&feature=youtu.be Here, they are indoctrinating kids into this brutal industry.
        rdpa*org*uk/cruelty.html UK Grey stats

        As for mckeon’s article, he’s a racing profiteer, so why would he NOT hate Grey2KUSA.org?

        AS NATURE DESIGNED THEM – GREYHOUND RACING
        by Dennis McKeon, committee member, Grreyhound racing assoc. of America
        http://www.gra-america.org
        “I belong to one of the most oppressed minorities in the country.”
        And this page would be HILARIOUS if they did not kill Greyhounds as part of their business model, as now, they want you to donate to their cause so they can continue brutalizing these gentle, loving beauties!

        You want to defend THIS person. The person who cries about being oppressed because we are stopping him from killing Greyhounds for profit? MAN bred Greyhounds from Pharoah Hounds, and MAN put them into unnatural conditions to run around an oval in a confined space between deadly electricity and hard walls, and you and he and you want us to believe that it was Nature who built racetracks and designed Greys to enjoy being stuffed into small cages where they cannot stand up fully for 20 or more hours a day? mckeon directly profits from killing “non-productive” Greyhounds, so of course he is going to try to convince people that Greys love being brutalized and killed at the tracks.
        One search for “Greyhound” and any of the words disaster, death, brutality, ear tattoo, bolt gun, slaughter, and mass grave brings up the truth of the matter.

        Americans are never again going to support this industry in any capacity, and even those who do are tired of their tax dollars going to line the pockets of a very few people at the top of the corporate ladders in this industry, and casino owners agree, saying that they are spending far too much to support a bygone attraction

        endtucsongreyhoundracing*com/
        arktimes*com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2012/03/08/the-death-of-greyhound-racing
        humanesociety*org/issues/greyhound_racing/facts/greyhound_racing_facts.html

  4. Wow…what a stupid law. Seems to me you should just legalize gambling, I’m not a big gambler myself, but I’ve been known to play a hand of black jack or two without any dogs or other animals getting hurt in the process (just my brain as I normally play black jack because you get free drinks while you play). How archaic.

    • Couldn’t agree more. It’s SO archaic. And like you pointed out, there is absolutely no reason that gambling can’t exist independently from racing. As is the case with everything, there really is no reason to harm animals in the process of doing whatever it is us humans think we need to do.

  5. Hi Morgan,

    Thank you so much for showing everyone how easy it is to help greyhounds. If we all work together, we will see the end of dog racing in Florida and the United States and yes, worldwide! Anyone who would like to receive timely action alerts at key points of the campaign can sign up on our homepage at http://www.grey2kusa.org or “like” us on http://www.facebook.com/grey2kusa.

    Thank you!

    Christine Dorchak, President
    GREY2K USA Worldwide

    • Hi Christine!

      I plan to do posts like this every week, in hopes of showing everyone just how easy it is to get involved with all sorts of causes. I certainly will be revisiting the greyhound topic though, as it seems like an issue that could actually realistically be improved (when compared to things like puppy mills, back yard breeders, dog fighting, and shelters misappropriating funds…to name a few!) Anyways, thanks for sharing more of your info and I will make sure to include it next time around. Your site was definitely the most thorough and easy to use of any I found while researching this!

      • That would be a great idea. Improve the conditions, not spend your donations on ending the sport.

  6. This new (8 weeks now) greyhound owner thanks you! It’s wonderful to have a pittie owner advocate for our dogs. I’ve learned so much in the past 8 weeks. I’ve learned the cruelty of racing and also the kindness that somehow still resides in a grey’s life.
    And for the record I do love a Pitbull. 🙂

    • Oh wow! Congratulations and thank YOU!!! I have limited personal experience with greyhounds, but the handful I have met were amazingly loving, despite the cruelty they endured in the past.

      I’m really just a dog lover at the end of the day and hope to do as much good for all breeds as I possibly can. They’re all wonderful, it’s us humans that can be evil.

    • Lisa, Where did you learn the cruelty of racing? Greyhounds are the wonderful pets they are because of the way they were raised and socialized. They are loved and taken care of in the race kennels where every 3 or 4 days they get to do what they love the most. Run! It’s a beautiful sight. When they are running they are truly in their glory!! Someone is giving you some bad information.

      • Left click in the upper left cornet and go to the “Secret Life of Greyhound Puppies” video to see just how well they socialize their Greys. See if you can find any happy Greys in those vids. (again, replace the asterisk * with a period .
        youtube*com/watch?v=V8Ym1SFhKxc&list=PLsDIMpuLhLPFEcElOgpf3lITUk4NsHZK-#t=39 contains “Secret Life of Greyhound Puppies,” among many others

  7. What a great post 🙂 I help with spreading word of greyhounds in Ireland, through facebook, and it is UNBELIEVABLE the amount of cruelty that these dogs are put through. This next part may come out wrong as I in no way think that any form of animal cruelty is worse than dog fighting- but at least dog fighting is illegal, but at least those who participate in that sport are likely to be charged with animal cruelty- if caught. When it comes to racing on the other hand- unfortunately money talks, or at least it does here in Ireland 😦

    • Oh, that doesn’t come out wrong at all! I completely agree. Both battles will be hard to win, but I really think we can make a difference if we all keep working together and doing our best to shed light on these issues!

  8. Some of my retired racers raced in Florida, and none of them won their first 3 races, so I think this idea might be misinformation. Also, I have the opportunity to pick up retiring greyhounds for my adoption group at the racetrack, and the trainers and other people I’ve met there really do care about the greyhounds. Things have changed a lot in the past 60 years, and I think you might agree that such a perfect temperament like the greyhounds have does not come from a background of neglect and abuse. I sure haven’t seen anything but caring and love when I pick up the dogs. Now in Spain, this is not the case at all, much needs to be done in Spain about their barbaric practices. But in North America, racing has been modernized and the dogs have benefited.

    • Hi Karen! Thank you for sharing your insight. While looking into this topic I have to admit that everything was quite one sided so I appreciate hearing from someone with a different take on things. I certainly hope you are correct that things have improved but I am still of the believe that as a whole, this practice should not exist. Again, I really appreciate your respectful insight and even more, appreciate that you are involved with a rescue group that takes in these guys!

    • Anyone who has spent any time in this conversation knows that the racing community will say literally anything to fool people into believing that racing at tracks is good for Greys. Your “testimony,” though, flies in the face of the evidence. My racer, Joey, raced in Oregon (a pretty mellow state, by any standard), yet he was terrified of people for the first few years I had him. That’s how badly he was treated. It took several years of hanging around with loving people (blood donors) every week while I volunteered before he would even consider approaching anyone on his own, and he went literally everywhere with me. He was trained as my service dog, and so he was with me 24/7 to keep me conscious, and I took him all around. It is not just MY story, though. ANYONE who looks at the following vid can see the ridiculousness of trying to defend this industry, or saying that “the dogs love it.” Watch tis vid, then come back and point out the dogs that look happy to you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8Ym1SFhKxc&list=PLsDIMpuLhLPFEcElOgpf3lITUk4NsHZK-#t=39

      I have already posted several vids of Greys dying during races, and earmarking a puppy, but this vid really shows how much greys are loved and respected at the tracks/kennels.

  9. I have been a supporter of GREY2KUSA for a couple of years. My dog is a St. Bernard/Lab X but I have several friends who have adopted greyhounds and we walk our dogs together often. I have had greyhounds in my training classes and recently had a Greys only class. (See my blog post 11/20/13 for photos!) No dog should be treated the way they are and many are killed – not adopted. It is time for this industry to end and that is the goal of GREY2KUSA. We can all help by supporting them. Thank you for your post.

    • Linda, Grey2k is a lobbyist group. They have never done anything to help greyhounds. Your donations are simply supporting their lifestyle. Why would you support a group like that? It’s easy to take a look at their financial statement and know they give a tiny fraction of all the donations they collect to help any dogs. Please familiarize yourself with what they really are. Money grubbing phonies!

      • Oh, Bev, you know that is a lie, because Grey2KUSA.org is the single most effective organization you have ever faced, and, so far, they have helped to close more than HALF of all the abuse factories know as racetracks. With the success tehy have had in keeping 10-20 thousand MORE Greys from dying at the hands of racing supporters, I would give them $100 million a year even IF they kept all of it for ice cream money. I mean, if they were THIS successful closing down your tracks by spending all my money on fine wine and chocolates, I say, “Bring on the chocolatiers!” Here is your favorite vid of late. The one you sued to have removed from the net. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8Ym1SFhKxc&list=PLsDIMpuLhLPFEcElOgpf3lITUk4NsHZK-#t=39
        Remeber, the challenge is “Find the happy racing Greyhound,” right?

  10. I have had retired racers for over 12 years….adopted 8 and have fostered over 100. All I can say is that I disagree with your view of their care; I have contact with the former owner of one of my dogs, her trainer and even the farm where she was born & raised. These people with no financial interest in her are still hungry for information. I have had the dog for over 7 years; if she has a health issue, they are sad. If she has a celebration, e.g., her 10th birthday or 7th “gotcha” day, best wishes are passed along.

    • I agree Carol! Isn’t it sad how much misinformation is out there? Some kind of issue with Pit Bulls. Lots of negative misinformation has contributed to the euthanization of thousands of Pits, yet people believe what they hear and then even continue the tales even though they have no evidence. Thanks for your post Carol.

  11. Update! I quickly learned that this is topic is even more heated than I realized. I want to be clear about something: I welcome all comments and views, even if they oppose mine, IF they are presented in a respectful manner. If you bash another person, on either side of this debate, you will be banned. Period. This is my blog and while I am fully aware that I frequently write things that people disagree with, I will not tolerate rude or disrespectful behavior. Additionally, my blog is simply not set up to handle videos in the comments. It causes it to crash and I have therefore had to delete nearly all of the videos that have been posted. I am not “finding” anything, I am simply trying to keep my blog operational. Thank you.

    • Would you like to see the needed link info, but without all the attached vids (e.g., youtube*com/watch?v=V8Ym1SFhKxc&list=PLsDIMpuLhLPFEcElOgpf3lITUk4NsHZK-#t=39)? Then, people can copy the links and add the “dot” (“.”) themselves to get to the video, and you can delete all of the vids from the page. I apologize for the crashing. I am a little dopey on this end. I tried to find a message function to contact off the board, but…if you can access my email, let me know. I will take no offense if you want to read me the Riot Act.

      • Joey I am impressed you know how to load videos with no opposable thumbs. Tell your dad Eric I said hi.

  12. Dear Morgan, I am sorry to use up so much of your space, but each time I see racing supporters try to defend this horrific industry, I respond immediately with these vids (and any new accidents/deaths that come along) so that the truth precedes (or at least follows them) everywhere. Knowing you defend dogs (at a minimum) with not only your words, but your soul, I am quite certain that you agree with my intent. However, I realize that you need to keep control of your own page and that racing supporters will almost certainly be coming back with replies (as, oh, let’s call it “silly,” as it is to try to refute their own videos) and they may bombard your site, All I request is that you allow at least one full set of the vids and the letter to stay up. However, I truly appreciate your excellent work irrespective of any editing of my posts. I wish only the best to you and your entire beautiful family. Be Well.

    • Hi Joey! Yes, I certainly do agree with your intent. I was fully prepared to face opposition (I do after all frequently advocate for pit bulls which we all know are an extremely heated topic!) and I do agree with you sharing these videos (to me it’s the same idea and me sharing cute pictures of all the pit bulls I interact with) so that anyone interested can see for themselves. I left up a few of the videos that you posted individually in comments because they did not seem to cause a “crashing” effect on the blog. It’s probably because I need to upgrade my blog, but where you posted multiple videos I had to delete that comment because it was causing the entire page to freeze. You are certainly passionate and I am always all for that when it is regarding animal welfare (of any sort!) Have a great day, and all the best to you as well!

  13. please let know what i can do to help stop greyhound racing ,i have 3 very beautiful rescued grey’s ,and they all have emotional trauma ,and physical problems ,because of years of racing ,more than anything in the world i want these precious dogs to have good loving homes ,please let me know what i can do ,thank you ,sincerely,Karen

  14. Morgan, I actually don’t know any of these people. I have never sued anyone! I just have experience with this subject and posted the facts. Sorry for the fire storm but the truth really needs to be said. Lots of kool aid drinkers!

    • Hi Bev! No need to apologize, I fully expect “firestorms” when I write posts that are controversial. I appreciate your input and I respect that there are two sides to everything.

      • I would love to give you some FB pages where you can see how real racing kennels operate, how the dogs are taken care of and what conditions they live in for your research. Please take the time to look at their pictures and videos and if you have concerns or questions, please contact them. They are wonderful people who love their dogs. I will just give you a few to start. Also, you can visit allaboutgreyhounds.org for a lot of information and good articles.

        Thank you for being open minded to both sides.

        Blanchard Greyhound Racing
        D’Arcy Kennels
        Abernathy Kennels

      • Thanks for the help in dealing with the huge amount of misinformation posted here. The comments against racing have been so misguided. I just hope Morgan will do a blog post that will correct the g2k lies that she was exposed to here.

      • Or, people can google “Greyhound” and any of the following: “disaster”, “earmarking a”, “violent Greyhound collisions”, “bolt gun”, “beyond the track”, “deaths”. Racing supporters have to realize that they cannot hide the atrocities of the industry any longer because in their attempts to further exploit these gentle creatures for more profit (by simulcasting to other arenas), they have provided the conclusive evidence of the very brutalities they deny. Greyhound breeder Wendy Brotherton filed a complaint to force YouTube to remove Brotherton’s photos from a Grey@KUSA*org video, which is where the racing community connection comes in. These videos truly provide the facts, so I am glad we could help you, Bev.

  15. Wow. I think so much heated debate is a sign you’re talking about the right things! I appreciate the link to resources and will definitely check them out. Thanks for thinking about the good of the pups. 🙂

  16. This has been an interesting discussion. I’m just now catching up on the comments. Thank you, Morgan, for this post.

  17. These dogs will not be depleated.They make the best family dog ever.They are the most obedient dog ever.

    • ranae, These dogs are the wonderful dogs they are because of the way they are raised. A greyhound puppy spends the first year of its life with its Mom and littermates. This doesn’t happen with any other breed of dog. Yes they are wonderful, and you should respect and understand how they became the awesome dogs that they are!

      • They become the awesome dogs that they are because they are awesome, and very forgiving, dogs.It took my boy 6 or 8 years before he finally approached anyone voluntarily. It was only because of the love showered upon him by all the people who met him, especially the staff and donors at the blood center where I took him every week for over 7 years, that he finally started feeling somewhat comfortable around people. when I first rescued him, he was terrified to be out in public, and tried to pull me away whenever anyone approached. That you can watch “Secret Life” and still make that claim is astounding.

  18. The Importance of Population by Dennis Mckeon
    I wish some of the late racing professionals who began the process and who envisioned the concept of comprehensive adoption for retired racing greyhounds, could see the way things have worked out. No doubt, they’d be pleased.
    It was a quantum leap of faith back in the late 70s and early 80s, to imagine that racing greyhounds, a breed that had been publicly and raucously vilified by the jackrabbit crusaders and their media allies, could someday have become the sensation they are today in adoption.
    This was a time when most young greyhounds, before they were trained to chase a lure on the training track, were allowed to course after live game, specifically the pestilence of jackrabbits. Even though a good “jack” can run a good greyhound right off his legs, even though greyhounds have been chasing hares since prehistoric times, this method of pest-control provoked an outcry from the animal rights activists of the era. The crusade to outlaw the coursing of live jackrabbits was successful in some states, but at a great cost to the greyhound.
    He was said, by those activist minions of ignorance, to be “trained to kill”, and to be “bloodthirsty” and “vicious”. The public lapped up this nonsense, regurgitated by the old media at every opportunity. Needless to say, the great jackrabbit crusade and its attendant propaganda inhibited the progress of those early adoption pioneers, who were not only attempting to evolve culture within the racing community, but who now had to deal with re-eduating a thoroughly misinformed public.
    Fast forward to the present day, and we see the same sort of ignorant and willful misinformation prevalent in all forms of media. The most galling aspect of this mythology, to any of us who ever have worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week, caring for greyhounds, would have to be the accusation that racing greyhounds are “abused” and treated cruelly, as a matter of routine.
    This is preposterous for many reasons, not the least of which would be that greyhounds are very expensive, and require a significant financial commitment to be raised to the stage where they are track-ready, and finally able to win back some of that investment capital. The fact that this blanket condemnation still has traction, even as thousands of retiring greyhounds each year beguile and fascinate their enchanted, new adoptive owners, is a testament to the power of pure propaganda and shameless bias in media and pop culture.
    The idea that such universally abused and cruelly treated dogs, who are not even “bred to be pets”, could have become the pet sensation of the canine world, flies in the face of everything we know to be true about canine disposition and temperament. Greyhounds have been universally acclaimed for their sweet and loving nature, and their unassuming, level temperament. These and other attributes manifest within a population, as a cause and effect of bloodlines, breeding, raising, training, handling and environment. Greyhounds, like all other cannes, are the sum total of all these things. The racing greyhound is who he is, with all his affections, charms, instincts, quirks and foibles, because of his racing genetics, his racing background and his racing life experience–not in spite of them, as popular greyhound mythologists would have us believe.
    It should go without saying, that making the complete life adjustment from racing athlete to family pet is no mean feat. Yet retired greyhounds do just that, by the thousands each year, to near unanimous acclaim. It could hardly be inferred by anyone of even modest critical thinking ability, that horribly abused and traumatized dogs would, without so much as a pang of conscience, make it their first order of business when beginning their lives as pets, to commandeer the living room couch.
    Even though, when entering their new lives as pets, they are without their pack mates for the first time in their lives, they adjust. Even though they are facing brave, new, challenging and intimidating objects, environments and routines for the first time in their lives, they adjust. Even though they are among strange humans, whose voices, commands and mannerisms are unfamiliar to them, still they adjust. And they are able to adjust, because they have learned to trust the humans they have encountered during their lives. That has been the essence of our relationship with canines, from antiquity to the present day. Most retired racing greyhounds are charismatic exemplars of it.
    Now, without a doubt, there are timid, nervous and skittish greyhounds, for whom this process of completely re-habituating themselves is more problematic. Some of these are “Omega” personalities, who, within their pack, were always the followers. Some of them are just high-strung, and hard-wired to be reactive. Much of greyhound temperament is highly heritable, and “racing temperament” is a fundamental feedback that breeders use to select which greyhounds will be bred. Yet we must remember that “pet-ability” is never a concern or a consideration among greyhound breeders in the process of selectivity, and “petability” has nothing whatsoever to do with racing ability.
    Greyhounds are bred to be bold, tenacious, courageous and athletic race competitors. Some of the most dead game, aggressive and totally dominant greyhounds who ever set foot on a racetrack, however, were edgy, or skittish, or nervous submissive sorts when not competing. Yet many greyhounds of this type were also quite successful as breeders. Hence, those traits they expressed, both on and off the racetrack, were passed onto sons and daughters, and so to future generations.
    One of the reasons for this Jekyl/Hyde conundrum we find in some greyhounds, is what they call in Ireland and the UK, “keen-ness”. The much-desired attribute of “keen-ness”, that is, being “keen” to chase and compete, is rooted in the greyhounds’ heightened powers of observation, his acute awareness of his environment and his surroundings, and his natural place in the evolutionary scheme of things as a sight, chase, catch and kill hunter.
    “Keen” greyhounds are hyper-sensitive to everything going on around them. They are super-focused. They are the alpha-predator in any given moment. They are always on the lookout for something that offers the possibility of a chase, or anything that constitutes a threat. In an unfamiliar environment fraught with novelty, this aptitude can sometimes be paralyzing, or even render them oblivious of their owners. The latter situation is especially so, when something they feel might be fair game is interpreted by them as being afoot.

    The Racing Greyhound pack is all things canine, from the stalwart alpha personalities, to the ebullient and envelope-pushing betas, right on down to the timid, supplicating, sometimes even pathologically fearful omega types. His diverse and ancient bloodlines assure us that there will be a plethora of personality types in the racing and adoption colonies, none of those personalities the result of fashion or fancy, and all of them sharing the common heritage of pure, unadulterated functionality, breathtaking speed and thrilling athleticism.
    In pop culture today, the Greyhound holds a unique place. He is widely viewed as a victim of human greed and ruthless exploitation. This, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, in the form of hundreds of thousands of loving, well-adjusted, retired greyhound pets. This is still the misconception, despite the fact that not one greyhound from among that remarkable population has ever been bred to be a pet. The Racing Greyhound is still regarded by many low information and/or propagandized enthusiasts, as an object of pity, rather than the brilliantly adapted athlete and superbly tempered hunter he is.
    Some even wring hands and gnash teeth over the supposed indignities, cruelties and abuses poor little Snowflake has been subjected to, without truly knowing anything about their greyhound’s history. Their concern is touching, but most times unfounded in the greyhound’s reality.
    Nevertheless, there is a chasmic “disconnect” among many greyhound lovers, between the individual greyhound(s) they love so dearly and the greyhound population. Without a genetically diverse, splendidly adapted and supremely functional population, we cannot have an individual greyhound who expresses those many attributes that emerge from such a population—which are the very things that endear the greyhound to all of us. At the cellular level, your greyhound is the embodiment of nearly a century of the genetics, the inputs and the feedback of racing alone. Racing is the one and only thing that supports the Racing Greyhound population.
    When a population contracts to the point whereby irreplaceable DNA strains and entire female families of greyhounds are lost forever, we have irreparably damaged that population. For each one lost, we have reached the point of no return. The more a population contracts, the more problematic the breeding of sound and well-adapted specimens becomes.
    So while it is heartwarming to see all the love and concern that is showered upon individual greyhounds by their adopters, we have yet to see that concern translated, within the popular greyhound culture, to the greyhound population–which is the wellspring of all greyhounds, past, present and future.
    Those original pioneers of greyhound adoption understood this unbreakable interconnection. They cared for the individual greyhound, but understood the crucial importance of the population, and from where, how and why the objects of their affections came to be.
    You can’t have one without the other.

    • #3 shows how much “care” id taken with nursing mothers, and how much they treat their Greys like “family.” It is the video the industry tried to have banned. It uses their own photos to show how horrid the conditions for their “brood bitches” are. Can anyone find a hint of joy in any of their faces? We can’t
      For newcomers to this discussion, especially those who want to believe what the racing industry says, I have a series of vids. The racing clips come directly from the racing industry’s own cameras. The rest of them speak for themselves. The clips range from the grotesque (a terrified Greyhound puppy being earmarked) to the grotesquely obscene (Birthday Toy being electrocuted to death during his race).

      (of course, replace the asterisk * with a period . )
      Youtube*com/watch?v=5AndNefxlJw tattoo
      youtube*com/watch?v=GEjYcjUWu5A Birthday Toy
      youtube*com/watch?v=V8Ym1SFhKxc&list=PLsDIMpuLhLPFEcElOgpf3lITUk4NsHZK-#t=39 contains “Secret Life of Greyhound Puppies,” among many others
      Youtube*com/watch?v=nZjzY3COods At 1:24, black Grey falls. At 1:26, white-black Grey with blue coat turns head when his racemae screams in agony
      youtube*com/watch?v=xcQnR99jZDI Greyhound disaster
      Youtube*com/watch?v=GEjYcjUWu5A&list=UUkv6T2NHXuE3MkKMNLe4RgQ&index=24
      grey2kusa*org/newsvideo/?gclid=CMDykemI7a4CFSoGRQodpTyuKA bolt gun
      youtube*com/watch?v=6yR9c4vEbJI&feature=related
      greyhounds*org/gpl/contents/media_cases.html
      youtube*com/watch?v=1tLAtBG__bY …
      youtube*com/watch?v=nZjzY3COods
      greyhounds*org/gpl/contents/media_cases.html
      planetgreyhound*com/2011/11/19/greyhound-racing-beyond-the-track/
      planetgreyhound*com/tag/greyhound-abuse/
      youtube*com/watch?v=xcQnR99jZDI
      youtube*com/watch?v=FDNR2b6u9fc
      youtube*com/watch?v=33ONJruz7IY&feature=related
      change*org/en-GB/petitions/defragovuk-abolish-the-use-of-the-captive-bolt-gun-to-destroy-greyhounds-in-the-uk
      youtube*com/watch?v=ayrI5OTOkjw&feature=youtu.be Here, they are indoctrinating kids into this brutal industry.
      rdpa*org*uk/cruelty.html UK Grey stats

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