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Greyhound racing’s toll in Texas

greydogTwenty greyhounds died or were euthanized after races in Texas last year, according to records obtained by GREY2K USA, a Massachusetts-based group seeking to end dog racing nationally.

The 20 were among more than 310 that had minor-to-major injuries.

Christine Dorchak, president and general counsel of  Grey2K, said the figures from the Texas Racing Commission show the need to halt an industry in which dead and injured dogs are considered “a cost of doing business.”

Breeders and track proponents say the injuries and deaths represent just a tiny percentage, when compared to the tens of thousands of times dogs collectively race around tracks. Nearly two-thirds of 2008 injuries were rated as minor, according to the commission.

“For us, that’s like saying no dogs should be athletic,” Diane Whiteley, a breeder and executive director of the Texas Greyhound Association, told the Houston Chronicle. “Anybody that’s ever had a greyhound that’s been injured feels awful about that. They’re like your kids.”

Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque, the only Texas track that currently has live dog racing, accounted for most of the 2008 injuries with its year-round racing schedule. Valley Race Park in Harlingen raced part of last year and since has taken a break in live racing.

(Photo by Denise McFadden, courtesy of


Comment from Val
Time October 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

As long as there is dog racing, we will continue to hear about the death and destruction the racing industry leaves in its wake. The history of greyhound racing is littered with hundreds of thousands of dead greyhounds, due to the greed of the people who were supposed to be caring for them.

Comment from Anonymous
Time June 13, 2010 at 11:01 pm

You should check in to Naples ft Myers greyhound park. There were around 50 dogs killed at the track in a six month period and another 28 or so injured do to racing. They went through around 1800 to 2000 dogs in a 11 month period. where are all of those dogs?

Comment from Sally
Time January 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm

In Arizona, racing greyhounds are considered “livestock” so the owners don’t have to license them.
Does Texas do the same?

Comment from Bob Wilson
Time March 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

They are beautiful animals and I love to see them raced. I am saddened that so many of them are euthanized for one reason or the other. We should remember that mankind bred them thousands of years ago when the world was much different than it is today. I think Egypt was the place a lot of them were bred and ,perhaps,raced.For any city or apartment dweller to make a pet out of them is a bad mistake. Death from euthanasia is no different than than a steers death in an Omaha packing plant and a hell of a lot kinder than what our military men and women face every day in remote parts of the world.

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