Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Save ALL the greyhounds

“Adopt a greyhound,” the billboard invited. Meaning, save a greyhound who used to race and now needs a home.

A recent newspaper story reported “Greyhound racing in steep decline” -- but it can’t end fast enough. Animal welfare activists have for years claimed “the dogs are kept muzzled in small cages, fed inferior food, injected with steroids and frequently injured at the track,” the story said.

The good news is that “Ten years ago, there were 50 greyhound tracks in 15 states. Today there are just 25 tracks in seven states, with 13 of them in Florida, once considered the hub of dog racing.” There are fewer than 300 greyhound farms today, a number considerably lower than the 750 estimated to have operated in the 1980s.

According to the story, greyhounds live an average of 12 years and run between 42-45 mph – they’re the world’s fastest dogs. They usually race when they’re between 1½-5 years old.

It’s easy to imagine why racing is dangerous for the dogs, who are subject to myriad injuries and cardiac arrest. Of course, those on the side of greyhound racing claim the dogs are well taken care of and – ready for this? – “love to run.”

Ha! Shades of the Lipizzaner horses, described some time ago by a promoter as loving to do the idiotic things they’re forced to do, or the service animals, who love being shackled to a human and co-living that person’s life instead of their own. And on and on.

Save a greyhound – and pray for that steep decline to quickly grow more steep.

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