Dog racing, which is almost entirely greyhound racing in the United States, originated in the 1920s. Dogs chased a “mechanical rabbit” some distance. The sport was similar to horse racing, but with animals little more than 60 pounds. The greyhounds were unusually fast and could reach speeds of 40 miles per hour.
As with horse racing, dog racing also attracted a large number of people who played with the results. Arenas were built in or near a number of cities across America.
The dogs were often badly treated. Doping is used to increase speed, but it can also cause serious injury. Some dogs are destroyed due to injuries. Greyhounds that are too slow to race can also be destroyed. And retired dogs don’t always find a home.
The treatment of greyhounds bred for breeds was so barbaric that the ASPCA listed it as “cruelty to animals.” His research has shown“Racing greyhounds regularly suffer terrible injuries on the track, including broken legs, cardiac arrest, spinal cord paralysis and broken necks. They also suffer off-track: dogs involved in this cruel industry spend most of their lives 20 or more hours a day in kennel-style warehouses or kept outdoors in dirt stalls with minimal protection. “
The ASPCA also keeps track of the number of states where the races are illegal. The latest analysis puts this at 41.
Michigan State University’s Animal Legal and Historical Center recently launched its “Overview of the dog racing laws”.
The publication reported that greyhound races remain active in four states – Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia. Another four states allow racing but have no tracks in operation today – Wisconsin, Connecticut, Kansas and Oregon.
It’s not entirely clear why the popularity of greyhound racing has declined in the United States. Pew Research recently did a study entitled. released “Greyhound Racing eats dust, once one of America’s favorite pastimes.”
The Pew experts argue that sport is no longer making a lot of money. And the animal cruelty aspects of the sport have driven people away.
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