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Tag: grey2kusa

Injuries rampant at West Virginia dog track

Anti-dog racing groups say Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Nitro, West Virginia, has had an alarming number of greyhound injuries over the past six years — more than one a day.

West Virginia Racing Commission records analyzed by Massachusetts-based Grey2K USA show that, in addition to 1.4 injuries a day, 152 dogs were euthanized during that period, only seven of those because of illnesses.

Carey Theil, executive director of Grey2K, the anti-dog racing agency that spent years trying to obtain the records, told the Charleston Daily Mail that the numbers are the highest the group has seen at any U.S. track.

An ASPCA spokesperson called the figures “appalling.”

Track executive Dan Adkins said the number of injuries has dropped the past two years and is near the national average.

Adkins insists dog health is a top priority for the track’s parent company, Hartman and Tyner Inc. of Hallandale, Fla. Out of more than 43,400 racing starts last year, he said, there were only 25 deaths.

The records show about 750 broken bones, and more than 300 career-ending injuries.

Grey2K says the true number could be even higher than state records indicate because more than 13 months of data is missing. The Racing Commission told the Daily Mail it could not find those records.

Last lap for greyhound racing in New England

More than 3,000 people poured into Raynham Park over the weekend for the final day of live greyhound racing at the 69-year-old park, its last day in Massachusetts and, possibly, its last day in all of New England.

The end of greyhound racing in in Massachusetts is the result of a public referendum — 56 percent of voters favored banning the so-called sport —  and part of a national trend driven by a mix of animal-rights concerns and declining track attendance, according to the Boston Globe.

Raynham Park staged its final race Saturday night.

Live dog racing has also ceased in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and, temporarily at least, Rhode Island. It continues at 23 tracks in seven states, 13 of them in Florida, according to the anti-dog racing organization GREY2K USA, which formed in 2001. At that time there were 49 tracks in 15 states.

“I just thank Massachusetts voters for giving greyhounds a second chance,’’ Christine A. Dorchak, president of GREY2K USA. “We have finally reached this wonderful day.’’

Many of the dogs, maintained by a network of kennels, will move on to race in other states, but several hundred will be looking for new homes. Raynham is working with GREY2K and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Animal Medical Center to aid their adoption.

“People who voted to end dog racing should step forward now and take a dog home,’’ Dorchak said. “This is the happy ending we all worked for, and these dogs make wonderful pets.’’

For the first six months of 2010, the track will remain open for simulcasting, where patrons bet on horse and dog races from across the country shown live on closed-circuit televisions.

Hundreds of greyhounds soon to need homes

greyhoundaaGreyhound rescuers in Wisconsin are preparing to find homes for hundreds of racing dogs that will lose their jobs when Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha, the last of Wisconsin’s five greyhound racing tracks, closes at the end of the year.

Pat Zimmerman of Fond du Lac, a member of Heart Bound Greyhound Adoption, estimated between 300 and 900 dogs will need to find homes. The group will be taking many of the dogs into foster homes to prepare them for adoption, according to the Post Crescent in Appleton.

Zimmerman said  that some of the racing greyhounds will go home with their owners, others will be relocated to out-of-state racetracks, and a third group will go back to racing farms to be bred.

Meanwhile, the newspaper reported, the state chapter of Greyhound Pets of America is trying to quell a rumor being circulated through email and Facebook claiming 900 greyhounds could be killed if they’re not adopted soon.

In addition to the closing in Wisconsin, hundreds more greyhounds will be in need of homes in connection with the closing at the end of this year of Phoenix Greyhound Park, one of three remaining dog tracks in Arizona.

For a list of links to greyhound adoption websites, visit Grey2kusa.

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 Grey2kusa.org)

Rhode Island clinging to greyhound racing

As Rhode Island debates the fate of its only greyhound racing track, an advocacy group is planning a weekend rally calling for an end to the sport in the state, the Associated Press reports.

The group GREY2K USA, a chief proponent of a successful ballot question in Massachusetts last year to ban greyhound racing at the state’s two tracks, is planning a Saturday rally in Providence to urge Rhode Islanders to ban the sport as well.

The Massachusetts ban takes effect in January. And New Hampshire’s two remaining tracks plan to end live racing.

“The handwriting is on the wall, and it makes little sense for lawmakers to stand up and buck this trend,” said Christine Dorchak, president and general counsel of the organization.

In Rhode Island the debate has focused more on the sport’s profitability rather than on the treatment of dogs.  Legislators awant to expand greyhound racing. Over the objection of Gov. Don Carcieri, lawmakers have moved to force a bankrupt, state-licensed slot parlor to run 200 days of live racing at its greyhound track even though current law only requires 125.

Carcieri, a Republican, vetoed the legislation, but lawmakers in the Democratic-dominated General Assembly say they expect to override it. Supporters of the dog racing bill say it’s necessary to save 225 jobs, including pari-mutuel clerks, bartenders and security workers, and preserve tax revenue. They also argue the public shouldn’t be penalized for what they say are the bad business decisions of the owners of the gambling parlor, called Twin River.