Sadly, 14 greyhounds lost their lives due to injuries during the most recent, 19-week dog-racing season at the Sarasota Kennel Club track in Florida. Three of those dogs died on a single day – March 20 – and a fourth suffered a broken leg.
But we don’t even know the overall number of injuries at any track in Florida because the state government protects the industry by not requiring injury reports. The state has the unsavory reputation of being home to by far the most greyhound race tracks in the country.
In reporting on the story, the Sarasota Herald Tribune noted the contents of a letter sent from the track racing director to a state investigator. In the letter, the track director states the deaths were a “very small percent” of the total number of dogs that raced during the season.
I’ve heard this excuse number of times from dog racing defenders. But it’s like a drunk driver’s lawyer defending his client by telling the jury drunk driving accidents and deaths are just a small percentage, when compared to the total number of cars on the road.
It’s a really desperate argument. It’s as distasteful as the stuff coming out of the mouths of the BP officials and others who are trying the downplay the impacts of the Gulf Oil Disaster.