A ban on greyhound racing in Iowa back on the table

Grey2K USA, other animal advocacy groups and lawmakers in Iowa are trying to bring back to the legislative discussion, a ban on greyhound racing in Iowa.

Hopefully, this go-round, we’ll see success from this effort – possibly as early as next year.

Greyhound racing has a lot of problems. It’s nothing more than a massive puppy mill operation with horrible breeding practices. It’s losing money, followers and betting like a bucket with a huge hole in the bottom. And more and more people are becoming aware of how the dogs live within the industry, as more people rescue the dogs and others see the reports.

Grey2K is publishing a 110-page report on greyhound racing in Iowa, complete with injuries. A story posted on the Des Moines Register website includes the following – “” The research also cited state records documenting 530 greyhound injuries between January 2006 and August 2010. Nearly 100 of the injuries were fatal or required euthanasia. “”

If some people want to gamble – fine. But let’s leave the dogs out of it. Bet on cards or dice or slot machines. Why put dogs through hell to support gambling. And while we’re on the subject of support, it seems the casinos and taxpayers are having prop up the dog-racing industry just it keep it going. Why is that allowed to continue?

And finally, there is the following video from Grey2K. WARNING – it contains graphic images.


11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by MJ on October 16, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Grey2K does little to nothing to protect greyhounds; they shut down tracks, dumping hundreds of dogs onto the “market” that is already gravid with animals waiting to be petted out. Instead of helping dogs into homes, they help dogs into the streets.

    Greyhound racing is dying on its own accord- it has been for 10-15 years now. Just let it go away on its own, rather than pretending to shut down tracks and throwing dogs into an already-saturated market in an economy where dogs can’t find homes as it is. Shutting down tracks now is worse than letting them stay open, believe it or not. I do animal rescue- I’m at the pound 3x/week, pulling dogs from shelters. I’m no supporter of the greyhound industry. But Grey2K is part of the problem, not the solution.


    • Posted by Tom Grady on October 16, 2010 at 9:16 am

      You are right in suggesting we should all be concerned for the dogs that would go into rescue as each remaining state sees an end to greyhound racing.
      But as greyhound racing goes on, thousands of dogs are dying every year and too many face painful injuries on the track. So actually, far more lives will be saved and more suffering will end if all greyhound racing ended very soon.
      And actually your point about the “saturated market,” is another HUGE reason for closing down the tracks now. Many of the dogs that do make it out of racing go into homes that could be adopting other dogs. Greyhound racing is double-edged situation in this way. Thousands are dying each year at the hands of the industry, while the industry is also annually contributing thousands to the homeless pet problem.
      We need to shut down the puppy mill industry and its dreaded sibling, greyhound racing. In doing so, we’ll end two of the major contributors to homelessness.


    • Posted by Tom Grady on October 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

      And I must add that Grey2K’s work has been important in helping to shine a light on this horrible industry. I applaud the work this organization is doing to save so many lives, especially in the long term.


    • Posted by D Gary Grady on October 19, 2010 at 1:08 am

      MJ, I applaud you for looking beyond the obvious. Would that more people did that on every subject, because the real world is a complicated place.

      But with respect, I believe your conclusion in this instance is in error. We agree that the industry is in decline because of economic forces, so the tracks are going to close eventually and when each one does there will be a surge in the number of dogs needing homes, just as you say. But when tracks are shut down by a change in the law, the owners have advance notice of the closing date and consequently know to cut back on breeding. A track closed by a sudden bankruptcy may well dump far more dogs into shelters.

      We might also note that crackdowns on puppy mills and on dog-fighting operations also lead to a surge in dogs needing homes, but I don’t think that’s a good argument not to crack down on puppy mills and dog-fighting. For basically the same reasons, I think the same is true of greyhound racing.

      Finally, don’t forget that there are plenty of money-losing tracks that stay open only because of state laws that allow slot machines and other gambling only at racetracks. Those tracks aren’t just going to fade away; those laws need to be changed one way or another.


  2. MJ’s post is a perfect example of someone who cannot see the forest for the trees.

    Yes, when a track closes, there is a one-time increase in greyhounds entering the adoption community. But it is expected and prepared for by greyhound rescues in advance, and once it happens, it’s over forever. It’s a one-time influx of a few hundred dogs, in lieu of a continual, endless supply of dogs needs re-homing over months and years.

    Several dog tracks are only open for part of the year, and every year when they close, tracks like Ebro and Pensacola in Florida dump hundreds of dogs on the greyhound adoption community, year in and year out.

    The closing of dog tracks ends this cycle forever.

    As dog tracks continue to close, the number of greyhounds bred for racing decreases.
    The number of dogs needing placement after their ‘careers’ end, decreases.
    The number of dogs being killed needlessly as ‘surplus inventory’ decreases.
    The number dogs being injured and dying while racing decreases.

    How anyone could view dog track closings as negative, especially anyone in the dog adoption community, is beyond me.


  3. MJ – you ARE a “supporter of the industry” if you are not in favor of shutting it down. The continuation of dog racing is nothing more than protracted suffering and killing of greyhounds. So it is my understanding you’d rather see the industry continue hemorrhaging greyhounds for years to come rather than to apply a tourniquet and stop the flow ASAP.


    • Posted by bob on November 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      You need to get a life and realize the misinformation you receive from Grey2K and other animal rights organizations are self-serving to their interests. Grey2K gets substantial funding from HSUS and donations from those who think they are politically correct. What happens to all the money? It goes to the founders and their lobbyiing efforts. Not a penny goes to the greyhounds, owners, kennels or dogs misplaced in addition to thousands of people financially impacted when a track closes. Grey2K and HUSU and other fringe animal rightist groups need further investigation by IRS and other government regulatory groups. Greyhound racing is legal and well regulated. The racers receive the best of care. Unfortunately injuries occur but most are minor. The greyhound tracks disclose injuries unlike horse racing tracks that don’t. Why don’t you try to control cruelity to pets that occurs daily throughout this country. And miiss know-it-all, since you want to end greyhound racing why don’t you contribute $5,000. to each dog owner when a track is closed by a referendum initiated by Grey2K ,e.g., MA..


      • Bob, I think YOU need to get your facts straight.

        GREY2K USA has obtained injury records via public information requests for tracks in Arizona, Texas, Iowa and West Virginia.

        In Arizona, according to reports provided by the Department of Racing, more than five hundred greyhounds were reported as injured (404), too sick to race (49) or too hurt to race (87) at two Arizona dog tracks in 2008. Injuries included dogs that suffered broken legs, broken backs, dislocations, amputations and paralysis.

        In Texas, according to reports provided by the Racing Commission, nearly three hundred and fifty (350) injuries were reported at Gulf Greyhound Park (321) and Valley Park (21) in 2008. Gulf is open for live racing year round, while Valley Park is seasonal, running six (6) months per year. The most commonly reported injuries were fractures, followed by muscle tears. A dog named Frank had a toe torn off, another dog broke his back and they were among the twenty (20) dogs that died while racing or were euthanized post-race. Notably, twenty-eight (28) dogs suffered up to three injuries each. These included Oh Susanna, who fractured her leg twice, once in August and once in November, and was euthanized.

        Official records for greyhounds racing in the state of Iowa showed that more than one hundred (100) greyhounds were reported as injured at Bluffs Run (70) and Dubuque Greyhound Park (31) in 2008. Bluffs Run is open for live racing year round, while Dubuque is seasonal, running six (6) months per year. The majority of injuries reported were broken legs, followed by muscle tears and two dogs suffered severed tails. Ten dogs were euthanized post-race.

        According to state records obtained from the West Virginia Racing Commission, at least 707 greyhounds were reported injured at Wheeling Island between January 2008 and September 2009. More than one hundred of these injuries involved broken legs, and other reported injuries included dislocations, broken ankles, lacerations, fractured skulls and spinal injuries. Additionally, 62 dogs died or were euthanized during this period.

        Injury reporting is NOT required in Arkansas, Alabama and Florida.

        These 3 states have a total of 17 tracks out of the 23 still operating across the U.S.
        There are 13 tracks in Florida alone.

        Yes, injuries most definitely occur. Many are serious and some are fatal.

        Dog racing is cruel and inhumane, and public awareness of the facts has contributed to the industry’s steady decline over the past 15 years.

      • Posted by Tom Grady on November 16, 2010 at 7:16 pm

        Thousands of greyhounds are dying each year. The breeding practices are horrible and focus on the breeding of champions to develop faster dogs, with too little regard for long-term health and rates of cancers (see OSU studies on cancer in racing dogs).
        The dogs are caged for 20 or more hours each day.

        We continue to read news story after news story about injuries and starving dogs and dogs shot to death and dogs found dead in ponds, etc, etc, etc …
        And then there is the fact that while thousands die each year when they don’t pass the tests or stop winning – thousands more end up in rescue, adding to the already horrible rate of homelessness in dogs overall. For every ex-racing greyhound and puppy mill dog that ends up homeless, another dog dies without a home.
        With this fact in hand, we know that greyhound racing is nothing more than a large-scale puppy mill operation with racing thrown in – tragically.

  4. Posted by Rick Glenn on December 9, 2011 at 3:35 am

    I am all for the welfare of animals. The thing that bothers me is. Why is it just dogs? Seems to me Horses are animals too and if you go in their closet. What will you find?
    This grey2k or whatever it’s called. If they are for the welfare of animals. Why not the horses too? I would rather watch a dog race on his/her free will than watch a man beat a horse just because it’s not running fast enough. Seems to me if you going to get rid of one get rid of both. If you just picking on the dogs without regard to the horses. Is that not discrimination.


  5. I often write about the horrors of horse racing – and in fact I am focusing now on the horse slaughter issue in the newer version of Pack Mentality (http://tomgradyonline.com/wordpress/).

    The horse racing industry is a major player in the over-breeding of horses, which leads to so many being abandoned when they are no longer of “value” to the industry.

    Tom Grady


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