Seventy-two years after it opened, Tucson Greyhound Park saw its final dog race Saturday night.
The track’s popularity had been declining for decades, but it wasn’t until Arizona’s legislature passed a bill earlier this year ending dog racing that its demise was sealed.
The park had been struggling since casinos opened in Arizona, offering gamblers a faster form of gratification.
“It’s no mystery,” said Michael Racy, a spokesman and lobbyist for the track for over 20 years. “As more casinos have opened, it’s gotten tougher and tougher.”
Phoenix closed its greyhound track more than seven years ago.
The owners of Tucson Greyhound Park, Joseph Zappala and Philip Robert Consolo Jr. of Florida, are still evaluating what to do with the property, Racy told the Arizona Daily Star.
The 60-acre facility will remain open for now, offering simulcast racing.
Even before the bill was passed, dogs began leaving the facility, most of them going to rescues.
Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption has taken in about 50 dogs since April, and Arizona Greyhound Rescue has taken in about 20.
Greyhound racing remains legal in five states.
(Photo: Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 28th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, dog, dog racing, dogs, final race, greyhound, greyhound racing, greyhounds, last race, law, legislature, pets, tucson, tucson greyhound park
The owner and operator of a kennel at the Pensacola Greyhound Track neglected 22 dogs to the point that she had to have them euthanized, investigators in Florida say.
The State Department of Business and Professional Regulation initiated an investigation into Billie Ard, the owner of W.R. Etheredge Kennel at the track, after a tipster from a Florida greyhound rescue group reported animals had been neglected and euthanized.
Investigators said they found evidence that Ard’s greyhounds had been underfed, and kept in unsanitary conditions, TV station WEAR in Florida reported.
“Upon entering the kennel it was apparent from the overwhelming urine smell… that the bedding materials in the crates had not been cleaned in quite some time. The smell was so strong and overwhelming that it burned the eyes,” investigators reported. They noted that the dogs also appeared to be underfed.
In August of 2009, a local veterinarian euthanized 22 of the dogs.
“This severe case of animal neglect calls into question the ability of track management to monitor the health and welfare of dogs at their facility,” said Carey Theil of Grey2k USA, a national greyhound protection group.
Ard lost her license as a result of investigation, but does not face any criminal charges.
All of the dogs that were in Ard’s care at the time of the investigation have since been placed with other kennels or adopted out.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, billie ard, dogs, euthanized, florida, grey2k, greyhounds, kennel, kennels, neglect, neglected, news, ohmidog!, pensacola greyhound track, rescue, track, w.r. etheredge kennel
Fifteen years ago, more than 400 people attended the national convention of the American Greyhound Track Owners Association.
This year’s convention, in Las Vegas, is expected to draw 120, the Las Vegas Sun reports — yet another sign that greyhound racing’s days are numbered.
The recession, competition from casinos, state legislatures increasing gambling taxes and public opposition to the sport have combined to threaten the future of dog racing, but the industry’s downfall can be traced to the 1980s and 1990s when state lotteries were introduced and casinos began to spread beyond Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Wagering on greyhound races in the United States declined from $3.5 billion in 1991 to $1.1 billion in 2007, according to the Association of Racing Commissioners.
The continued decline in dog racing has become even more painful for casino owners who are required to subsidize the tracks as a condition of operating casinos with slot machines.
As Roy Berger, executive vice president of the Dairyland Greyhound Park in Wisconsin, which closed last year, put it: “The product became an antique. We were an 8-track cassette store in a world of CDs.”
(Photo: American Greyhound Track Owners Association)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, association, casinos, closings, closures, convention, dairyland, decline, dogs, dwindling, fading, future, gambling, greyhound, greyhounds, las vegas, news, pets, shrinking, sports, track owners, tracks, wagering, wagers
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.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal rights, animal welfare, betting, closings, closures, dog, dog racing, end, final, gambling, grey2kusa, greyhound, greyhounds, last, massachusetts, race, racing, raynham park, track
Greyhound 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.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, arizona, close, closing, closures, dairyland, euthanasia, grey2kusa, greyhound, greyhound park, greyhound pets of america, greyhounds, heart bound, homes, kenosha, needed, phoenix, racers, racing, rumor, tracks, wisconsin
Greyhound racing is nearing the finish line in Wisconsin.
Dairyland Greyhound Park, in Kenosha — the last operating track in the state — announced Tuesday it will close its doors after racing ends Dec. 31.
Dairyland was one of five Wisconsin tracks that opened after a 1987 amendment to the state constitution allowed for a state-run lottery and legalized parimutuel betting. The others closed earlier, unable to compete with the state’s tribal casino offerings that began to emerge in the 1990s.
According to the Kenosha News, the 19-year-old track has lost $17 million over the last seven years.
Dairyland has remained in operation in recent years with the hope that the Menominee Nation wins federal and state approval to develop a $1 billion casino complex on the site. The tribe is now in litigation to overturn a January denial of the project.
Closing the track will put about 180 people out of work, and, track officials say, leave the 900 dogs that race at the facility in need of homes.
If you’re interest in adopting, here’s how to find a greyhound rescue near you.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopting, adoption, animal welfare, betting, cease, closing, dairyland, dog, dogs, ending, gambling, greyhound, greyhound rescue, greyhounds, homes, industry, jobs, kenosha, needed, racing, rescue, shutting down, stop, track, tracks, wisconsin
Twenty 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)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 27th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, christine dorchak, deaths, dogs, grey2kusa, greyhound, greyhounds, gulf greyhound park, harlingen, injuries, la marque, races, racing, texas, texas racing commission, tracks, valley race park