Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Short Miserable Lives of Greyhound Dogs Used in Racing

Here is an excellent article on the use and abuse of greyhounds in dog racing. The article is about the UK, but this is a worldwide problem.

From the article about the Greyhound Derby at Wimbledon:

The elite - dogs like Westmead Lord, hot favourite for the derby - are the lucky few. At the end of their careers, they'll be put out to stud.

As for the rest - the majority - a short, miserable life will be followed by a brutal and needless death.

Most will suffer a fate similar to those buried in a "mass grave" next to David Smith's bungalow off a secluded farm track in County Durham.

The method of execution for those unfortunate animals was a bolt gun, a weapon that fires a metal bar with enough force to shatter the toughest skull.

This is a lot cheaper than finding them new homes. It didn't take much for an animal to be discarded. Said one former trainer:

"The person I worked for was only interested in making money out of his dogs. Once a dog could no longer race, he wanted rid of it.

"I was very attached to one particular greyhound and walked him for a year. I was hanging on in the job waiting to adopt him when he retired. But it wasn't to be.

"The dog's shoulder was shattered in a race. Afterwards, the head kennel hand came back holding the dog's lead. I asked where the dog was. She just said 'get on with your work. This became a familiar pattern."

Greyhound Action (mentioned in the article) has a good website with information.

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