The New York Times published a story Sunday focusing on the practice of hunting coyotes with trained greyhounds. An Oklahoma rancher is the main player in the story, as he trains his dogs and is a proponent of the cruel practice.
Using greyhounds to hunt to coyotes is a barbaric mix of dog racing and and dog fighting. And as we at times see with quotes from dog-racing industry insiders, the rancher in this story actually makes the case against the activity he is engaged in.
“Every time you turn ’em loose, you don’t know whether it’s going to come back sound or not,” Hardzog said. “There’s just a lot of obstacles out there. Every once in a while, you had one run off in a ditch and either break their back or a shoulder or dislocate a hip. But it’s the risk you take. If you didn’t let them run, you would be denying what they were bred to do.”
Actually, he’s not taking any risk. His dogs are, and he admits they are risking severe injury each time he sends them out. The twisted reasoning used in defense of this style of hunting is beyond comprehension.
And I’ve heard before this strange notion that training dogs to race or hunt, to a point where they frequently are severely injured or die, is somehow that ‘they love to do.’ Yes, some dogs love to run and others love to hunt. But training them with shock collars and forcing them to do these things under dangerous conditions is not what they love to do.
Our rescued greyhounds have a blast running around our back yard and barking at squirrels. But those activities take a back seat to living with us in the house and snuggling on the sofa.
The New York Times writer discribed seeing old wounds on the dogs and explains how Hardzog has to treat a number of injuries the day she tagged along. The story, in all its detail, is a screaming indictment against the practice of using greyhounds to hunt coyotes.
I only hope this story begins a movement to ban this practice nationwide.