Not all retired racing greyhounds are adopted. In fact, only a third of them find homes of any kind. The vast majority are put down, or worse, sold to research labs. Racing-dog owners profit off their dogs’ last dying breath. Legislature needs to be passed to prohibit the sale of retired greyhounds to research labs. After the horrors these dogs face on the tracks, protecting them from further suffering is the least we can do.
There have been countless cases of greyhounds being mistreated in research labs. A reported 2,600 greyhounds were donated for medical research to Colorado State University by Colorado breeders and trainers from January 1995 to March 1998. Approximately one-third of the dogs were used in terminal teaching labs and were they were killed immediately after use; the remainder were “excess” and were euthanized within 24 hours of their arrival at the facility.
Gregory S. Wood, a breeder and kennel owner in Arizona has been known to sell his retired racers for $250 to $350 a piece, primarily to the University of Arizona, Tucson Veterans Administration Medical Center, and W.L. Gore and Associates in Flagstaff. When asked, Wood said he would continue to put dogs unsuitable for adoption into research programs. “It’s foolish to just put a dog to sleep, when they could instead be put to some useful purpose in a USDA-regulated research laboratory.” How could the tortured existence of a research animal be considered a lesser evil than putting these dogs to sleep? And why should greyhound breeders and owners be permitted to benefit from the pain and misery of their dogs?
Dog racing continues in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia. However, even states that have banned dog racing may still permit off-track wagering and the breeding of racing dogs. Thus, it is vital that the U.S. Senate pass a national law to prevent the sale of retired racing dogs to research labs. We must protect these helpless animals from further suffering.