Greyhound Racing to End in Texas

Finally!! Here’s the latest news from greyhound ambassador group Grey2K, taken directly from their email sent out earlier this week:

grey2k greyhound benny of TX
“Dear Friends,

Yesterday, GREY2K USA learned that the last greyhound track in Texas was calling it quits! That’s right, Gulf Greyhound Park, the third and final dog track in the Lone Star State will close its doors to live racing by January 1…

Gulf Greyhound Park is one of the worst dog tracks in the country, and this is truly a victory for everyone who cares about dogs. Hundreds of greyhounds will now be released from their cages and given the second chance they deserve…

More than two thousand greyhound injuries have been reported at Gulf since 2008 alone, including broken legs, puncture wounds, a broken neck and a crushed skull. During the same period, 115 dogs died or were destroyed due to the severity of their injuries. Meanwhile, the amount of money gambled on live racing fell by 61% over the last decade. As a result, there were fewer and fewer funds available to care for the greyhounds, and at least one kennel worker was sanctioned for failing to seek veterinary care for an injured dog. Another trainer was also caught on tape using live rabbits to bait his dogs.

Once Texas racing ends later this year, greyhound racing will be legal and operation in just six states. Thanks to everyone who worked with us last summer to keep slot machines out of Gulf Greyhound Park. The track spokesperson has conceded that this was the last hope she had for keeping the aging facility afloat and acknowledges that “the economics of live greyhound racing have significantly deteriorated.”

Enough greyhounds have suffered and died while racing in Texas, but soon this cruelty will come to an end. Please continue to support our work until the dogs in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, West Virginia and worldwide get the same chance.

Together we can do it!

Christine A. Dorchak, Esq.

Carey M. Theil
Executive Director


This is a huge victory in the fight against dog-racing. Please consider donating to your local greyhound groups or national organizations like Grey2K. Greyhound Pets of America-Central Texas is one of the local Austin groups. I’ve been a GPA member for 16 years. Every dollar helps.

And always take the opportunity to sign petitions to end dog-racing (or horse racing). Your signature matters!


Signing your name on petitions does indeed work! Some people think that these petitions floating around on the internet don’t do any good. NOT TRUE! As in many instances, here’s another case where petitioning has helped:

A Petition Update had this to say:

Aug 19, 2014 — In June, we asked you to sign a petition to stop the expansion of commercial dog racing to South Africa. Today, we are pleased to announce that the Department of Trade and Industry listened to your concerns and has decided that dog racing will remain illegal in the country!

Victory for Greyhounds!


A note (and video) from Grey2K, the greyhound protection group who spearheaded the petition, celebrated with this letter to those who helped:

Dear Friends,

In June, we asked you to sign a petition to stop the expansion of commercial dog racing to South Africa. Today, we are pleased to announce that the Department of Trade and Industry listened to your concerns and has decided that dog racing will remain illegal in the country!

Thanks are due to everyone around the world who wrote to officials and asked for the proposed authorization of dog racing to be dismissed. Our friends at the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the International Fund for Animal Welfare also spoke out strongly to prevent the coming of this cruelty to South Africa. In fact, a television piece which featured these organizations and used our research is thought to have had great influence on the debate.

Please watch the Carte Blanche segment and then let’s all celebrate this great news today!

Best wishes,

Christine A. Dorchak, Esq.
Christine Dorchak Carey M. Theil
Executive Director
Carey Theil


So, you see, it does help when you add your name to a petition. So keep on signing those petitions for the causes you believe in. Together we can make a difference. We definitely made a difference for countless greyhounds with this victory! 






Breaking News: Colorado becomes the latest state to ban greyhound racing!

Emails from Grey2K come in two forms: those heartbreaking ones detailing cases of greyhound abuse, neglect and cruelty and those like today, announcing victories. Today Grey2K is spreading the good news that Colorado has become the latest state to ban greyhound racing.

Grey2K announces Colorado as the latest state to ban dog racing

Yesterday morning, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed Grey2K’s bill to prohibit greyhound racing, making Colorado the39th state in which the cruelty of dog racing is illegal!

Per the Grey2K email, “Drafted by GREY2K USA president and general counsel Christine Dorchak, the measure was enthusiastically supported by Colorado Voters for Animals, Colorado Citizens for Canine Welfare, the ASPCA and the The Humane Society of the United States. We all worked together to make dog racing history!

None of this would have been possible without the leadership of our chief bill sponsor Representative KC Becker of Boulder. A freshman lawmaker, she learned about the
cruelty of dog racing in Colorado and then joined with us to make sure that
greyhounds would never suffer again in her state.”

Some of the facts that led Representative Becker to back the bill:

  • Since the state’s legalization of greyhound racing in 1948, five greyhound tracks had opened and closed. Interest in the activity suffered such catastrophic declines that only one track survived by 2007. Mile High Greyhound Park reported a loss of $700,000 and ended live racing in 2008.
  • Greyhounds in Colorado endured lives of terrible confinement and were kept in warehouse-style kennels, in stacked cages that were barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. Cages measured just 29″ high by 29″ wide and 40″ long.
  • Between 1993 and 2007, 2,636 greyhound injuries were reported at the state’s dog tracks. The most common injury was a broken leg and other injuries included fractured spines, paralysis and puncture wounds.
  • In 2006, a Colorado greyhound breeder was fined and lost his license permanently after nearly 200 dogs disappeared while in his control.
  • Thirteen greyhounds died in a Colorado breeding farm barn fire in 2005.

So, thirty-nine states and counting! Keep up the good fight. You can take Grey2K’s poll to vote on which target states you want to Grey2K to focus on next in getting greyhound racing banned.

An Undercover Video of New Zealand Greyhounds

I received an email from Grey2K today and viewed an undercover video of greyhounds at a “top greyhound farm” in New Zealand. Their email and video are below and includes links should you wish to show your support:

“Imagine keeping your dog in a solitary cage, with no bed to rest on or toys to play with. Imagine watching your best friend pace around and around chasing her tail in endless
circles. Then imagine walking away…

New Zealand greyhounds investigated

It is hard to understand but thousands and thousands of New Zealand greyhounds are living like this right now, and no one is helping them. In fact, the industry admits that there are no welfare standards in place to protect these dogs or to improve their terrible lives. Worse, seven percent of owners admit that dogs may not be placed for adoption after they stop winning. This figure augments the thirty-five
of greyhound puppies that the New Zealand Greyhound Racing
Association admits cannot be accounted for. The irrefutable conclusion is that
thousands of beautiful and innocent greyhounds are simply destroyed each year.

Last Fall, GREY2K USA Worldwide worked with FarmWatch and the Greyhound
Protection League of New Zealand
to get the first look at these
dogs. Our undercover investigation of a major New Zealand racing kennel
revealed the sad truth that greyhounds endure lives of confinement and many
exhibit neurotic behaviors. When our investigators approached them, some dogs
tried to push their heads right out of their cages to be petted. This is how
desperate for attention these poor dogs are.

Please help us rescue New Zealand’s greyhounds from the racing industry. With
your support, we will do more than just document this cruelty, we will fight it.
As we have found in the United States, there is a path forward to protecting greyhounds and we know that much work lies ahead. Now is the time to
take the first step. Won’t you please help?

Learn more on our New Zealand campaign page now. Then, pledge a donation and sign our petition to help end dog racing in yet another part of the world.”

The Plight of Florida Greyhounds – a new report

GREY2K USA Worldwide, the largest greyhound protection organization in the United States is a non-profit agency that works tirelessly to end the cruelty of dog racing and pass stronger greyhound protection laws, just came out with a startling report:       74 greyhounds died in Florida racetracks in the last 7 months of 2013. In more disturbing terms, a greyhound dies EVERY THREE DAYS in Florida racetracks. That’s just in ONE state!

greyhound racing

Reuters photo

A new law that was enacted in Florida and went into effect in Spring of 2013 requires racetracks to report all greyhound deaths. It’s the first time in the state’s 80+ year history of racing that these numbers have been revealed publicly. But it doesn’t require reporting of injuries. In states that require both death AND injury reporting, guess what has happened since those laws went into effect? THE NUMBER OF GREYHOUNDS KILLED OR EUTHANIZED DECREASED SIGNIFICANTLY. According to Grey2K’s Executive Director Cary Theil, “In Massachusetts, the number of greyhounds that were killed dropped by 43 percent in the first year after passage of an injury reporting law.”

Forty-three percent! Why the decrease in the number of deaths and euthanasias? Because now they can’t cover up the number of greyhounds they dispose of who could’ve been saved and they can’t sweep the deaths under the kennel floors anymore…or at least it makes it harder to do so.

Florida’s greyhound racing lobby is fighting the requirement to report injuries. According to an article, The Florida Greyhound Association, an industry lobby, reportedly opposes extending the new law to the mandatory reporting of dog injuries, and instead favors state-mandated infrastructure improvements at dog-racing tracks that they say would ultimately improve safety for the animals.  (insert my commentary: Of course the industry lobby opposes the new law requiring mandatory reporting of dog injuries! It’s so much easier to get away with killing injured greyhounds when you don’t have to report it! The lobby’s ridiculous alternative is “state-mandated infrastructure improvements at dog-racing tracks”. Yeah, right. Like that would really happen. We all know that’s a crock of PR bullshit).

A recent (2/16/14) indepth Miami Herald article goes into detail about the reported greyhound deaths, recent legislation, the effects of the new law, the industry lobby and it’s financial influence on lawmakers. It’s an eye-opening read. Some excerpts follow:

The death of a greyhound … would have normally gone unreported in Florida. But track operators are now required to notify the state within 18 hours of a greyhound’s death at a track or racing kennel in Florida. Approved by lawmakers in 2010, the rules didn’t take effect until last spring — more than 80 years after dog racing became legal in Florida — a testament to the greyhound racing industry’s power and influence in Tallahassee.

According to death reports reviewed by the Herald/Times, 74 dogs died on race track property between May 31 and December 31, 2013 — one every three days.

Unlike other states, Florida’s greyhound industry does not have to report injuries. And, although some death reports provide detailed information, many do not. Among the deaths:

WS Mellow Yellow, a 2-year-old, died July 15 “while being hauled from Alabama” to the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club. (insert my commentary: probably due to being hauled in an unventilated and un-air-conditioned truck in the heat of the summer when temperatures inside the vehicle can soar to 120 degrees and higher)

GM’s Tiny Momma fractured his left front leg during the 14th matinee race at the Daytona Beach Kennel Club on Oct. 26. “The injury was of a nature that required the track veterinarian Dr. Kevin Eastman to euthanize the greyhound after his post-race examination,” the report said. (insert my commentary: a fracture usually doesn’t require euthanasia; my guess, and this is just my opinion, is that it was simply going to be too costly to treat the injury plus being that the dog wouldn’t race again and therefore couldn’t bring in wager money, he was considered “disposable”)

Year-old TD’s Harley died July 16 after he collided with the fence on the first turn and finished last at St. Petersburg’s Derby Lane.

At the Washington County Kennel Club, a 2-year-old male named Flying Meteorite was “cooled down” after a race on June 8 but was still panting heavily. Inspectors concluded: “He died when he was put back in his kennel.” (insert my commentary: how thoroughly did they really try to cool this dog down? Overheated dogs need to be cooled slowly and carefully; their temperature needs to gradually come down and it requires a significant amount of time and attention)

Other death reports raise questions about the care and treatment of the animals.

A dog named Hallo Spice Key died Sept. 3 after being sprinted — running before a race — at 5:45 a.m. at the Jacksonville compound by a helper for the James “Barney” O’Donnell kennel. “It appears the death could have been prevented had the greyhound not been sprinted in the dark,” the report said. (insert my commentary: gee, ya think? Arrgh!)

A day later at the Pensacola Greyhound track, Tempo Man Eater, a 1-year-old female, died sometime in the middle of the day after being taken out of her crate for exercise. She had not been eating for four days, the report said, so the trainers had tried to force-feed her. (insert my commentary: If a dog doesn’t eat for FOUR days, that usually signifies a problem requiring veterinarian intervention. THEY FORCE-FED HER!! And you have to know that they likely were not gentle about it)

And on Dec. 5, a puppy who hadn’t been named yet arrived at the St. Petersburg Kennel Club in bad shape. “We lost a new pup today. He just came off the hauler on Thursday,” the track reported. “Trainer said Dr. Gregory was going to do a necropsy, but the Dr. thought it was head trauma.” (insert my commentary: a greyhound puppy dying from head trauma sustained on a haul? How much you wanna bet that the hauler used some kind of deadly force to contain or restrain the energetic puppy?)

Sad, sad, sad. What is equally sickening are these facts, also asserted in the Miami Herald article. Those who know me and my disdain for politics know how outraged I am by this:

Since 1990, the total money waged for the 13 facilities that ran greyhound racing in Florida has fallen by 67 percent — from $933.8 million to $265.4 million in 2012, according to the Spectrum Gaming Group, a New Jersey-based research firm hired by lawmakers to assess the economic effects and social costs of expanded gambling in Florida. As attendance dropped, profits have also plummeted. The industry lost $35 million in 2012 on dog racing, Spectrum said.

Ann Church, vice president for state affairs for the ASPCA, which is working to end greyhound racing in the United States, said the industry’s declining profits are taking their toll on the dogs.

“We realize the economics are such that, in order to make a profit, you have to get rid of anything that is humane — housing, vet care and food,” she said.

When the movement began 20 years ago, animal rights activists didn’t call for an end to dog racing, just a change in the practices, Church said. Today, she said, trainers and handlers are not well paid and conditions are so inhumane that animals suffer.

And the greyhounds are paying the price because politicians and lawmakers are being influenced (read: paid handsomely) to block legislation that would improve the conditions and safety of the dogs.

Says the Miami Herald article:
Grey2K’s Theil says the greyhound association’s opposition to more detailed reporting about dog injuries is a signal that they have something to hide.“They do not want the public to have information about the way their industry operates because at some level, they understand if the public has information there will be a lot of public opposition to them,” he said. “The industry is very powerful.” Since 1996, kennel operators and greyhound tracks have given more than $1 million to individual candidates running for statewide office or the Legislature, according to a Herald/Times analysis. But the industry’s real investment was in donations to the Republican and Democratic parties and political committees. Nearly $9 million was spent on campaign contributions in the last 18 years — with close to half of the money spent by South Florida dog tracks to win voter approval in 2004 for slot machines at horse tracks, dog tracks and jai-alai frontons in South Florida.But since voters approved the 2004 referendum, track owners have spent more than $4 million trying to influence legislators.Read the full article here.
Grey2K’s video, “The Final Lap”
    — and then please support all efforts to end dog racing in Florida