Daily Archives: June 13, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Greyhound Racing

  The topic of Greyhound racing is one of much controversy; pro and con. I have debated with myself whether this is really a topic that I should write about. According to a great deal of research, Greyhound racing remains a touchy subject among, race fans, race track owners, breeders, rescue groups, and animal rights activists. I have read, so much about dog racing that it almost made my head spin. I read a number of forums on the Internet which caused me to really think about how I should, would, or could write what all of these very passionate people had to say in defense of or against Greyhound racing. The fur literally flies on some of the forums and some individuals have been banned from participating in some of them. One forum showed one person making long and detailed remarks about almost every individual’s written opinion.  This person discredited any data that was presented. This individual gave the impression of knowing all there is to know about breeding, racing, showing, injury and health issues of the Greyhound, rescue organizations, and the list goes on.

For the reader of this post, please keep in mind that I am endeavoring to keep this post neutral. I am simply writing about what I have researched.  I’ll begin with what is considered the good part of Greyhound racing. Just about anyone that possesses a fair amount of knowledge about dogs in general knows something about dogs that race. 

The good of racing greyhounds. In years past a fairly large number of individuals earned their livelihood as a direct result of working with the dogs at the race track. These people are/were involved in the care of the dogs which are generally kept near or on the premises of the track property. In the heyday of Greyhound racing thousands of people were employed in a variety of positions at the tracks.  A great deal of money was/is made racing these dogs. Breeders also benefited from racing dogs. For some breeders the racers were their sole income and for others the dogs provided a supplemental income. Many states had several tracks, so racing was profitable for track owners and the races are/were a diversion for those people that enjoyed gambling via placing bets just as people place bets on race horses. However, many tracks have been closed because some states have passed laws banning dog races. The other negative part of the whole dog racing scene was/is that many things change either for better or worse. Betting on racing dogs no longer holds the appeal that it once did. One factor might be that those individuals who enjoy betting/gambling now have, perhaps what could be considered, a quicker and more enjoyable way to spend their entertainment money. Enter the world of the casino where the lure of the slot machine, gaming tables, etc. has proven more exciting than betting on a dog that races around trying to catch a  “dummy” lure (which is considered more humane than using a live rabbit). 

This subject to be continued. Hopefully, I will be able to add a photo of a rescued Greyhound, which has eluded me in the area where I live.  I will continue my quest for a dog to photograph. As an aside- I personally find the Greyhound a beautiful and noble dog.

 Post by  Yvonne Daniel