One of America’s notorious greyhound parks, Tucson Greyhound Park in Arizona, will be closing its doors once and for all, thanks to new legislation to be signed by Governor Doug Ducey. The bill will ban live Greyhound racing, adding Arizona to the 39 states that have already put an end to this cruel, unnecessary practice.
“This legislation is something we’ve been working on for 10 years, and we couldn’t be happier that the day has finally arrived,” Christine Dorchak, president of Grey2K USA, told the Arizona Daily Star. She referred to Tucson Greyhound Park as a “death trap for dogs.”
And death trap it certainly is. On these death traps – or death tracks – dogs are forced to endure terrible conditions, all for the sake of entertainment and profits.
This meant little social contact or adequate medical care, and approximately 20 hours a day in crates stacked on top of one another. These cages were only big enough to allow dogs to stand up in them and some enclosures do not have heat or air conditioning. Dogs were also kept muzzled for extended periods of time, leading to mouth sores and parasites. In addition to these conditions being uncomfortable and dangerous, they also make it easy for contagious diseases to spread. These conditions, as well extreme temperatures that Greyhounds are ill-equipped to endure, led to hundreds of deaths over the years.
That being said, public interest in Greyhound racing has dramatically declined as public awareness of cruel and inhumane practices spreads. According to Grey 2K USA, a leading advocate on the issue, the total amount gambled on Greyhound racing nationwide declined by 68 percent between 2001 and 2013.
We’re so excited that Arizona has taken the step to ban this inhumane “sport.” While the bill won’t come into effect until the end of the year, facilities are already shutting down in anticipation. This leaves an estimated 300 to 400 rescued dogs up for adoption. These loving dogs are on the lookout for forever homes! Various shelters and animal organizations across the states are banding together to find these deserving pups homes. Some organizations, like the Arizona Greyhound Rescue, is looking to train dogs for service dog positions through the Heartfelt Hounds program. Check it out here!
To learn more about Greyhound racing in your state, click here. Want to help make a difference for racing dogs? Check out Grey 2K USA and keep up to date on their latest victories on their Facebook page.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons