This story is sure to lift your heart, Green Monsters! When an animal is caught in an abusive situation, nothing can restore your faith in humanity quite like hearing about some kind people who stepped in to help, rather than turning their backs on the problem. This was what happened to Jacob: a greyhound who had been used as a racing dog, forced to live under terrible conditions, and fed barely enough to keep him alive.
When Jacob was discovered in Middleton, near Manchester, UK, his rescuers were shocked to find him living in a “cold, dark allotment” with only a piece of cardboard to use as a bed. The sweet dog was extremely underweight – as were two female greyhounds found alongside him – and it was discovered that he was blind in his left eye. Vets believe that this was caused by a blow to his head. He also has a cataract on his right eye.
His foster carer Shantel Freeman said, “He is one of the worst cases I have had. It was horrendous. He couldn’t get out of the car. He has big weeping sores on his legs so it is hard for him to use them. When he came inside it was the first time he had stepped on a carpet. It was heartbreaking watching him trying to walk on it. When he came in I sat on the floor and he came right up to me and put his head on my shoulder. I think it was his way of saying thank you.”
How could anyone bear to cause pain to this sweetie?
Stories like Jacob’s are all too common among former racing dogs. According to GREY2K, the leading anti-racing campaign group in the U.S., racing dogs must endure “a system of confined housing, the use of anabolic steroids to prevent estrus in female greyhounds, ’4-D’ (diseased) meat as a primary food source, and the disposal of unprofitable dogs. In addition, many greyhounds suffer serious injuries and sometimes die while racing.” The standard minimum racing dog cage size is 32 inches high, 31 inches wide, and 42 inches deep. This often does not allow enough space for larger dogs to stand up straight. Dogs are frequently confined in these cages for twenty hours each day, only being allowed out to relieve themselves and practise running.
In a number of tragic cases, former racing dogs who have passed their prime have been horrifically abused and then abandoned, with their identification tattoos obscured or burned out so that the cruelty they’ve suffered cannot be traced back to their former owners.
Believe it or not, Jacob is one of the lucky ones.
This plucky canine is now in the hands of people who care for him and are determined to do all they can to help him recover from his ordeal. “He really is fabulous,” Freeman said. “He is just starting to find his way around without bumping his head. This morning he has just started to respond to his name so the house was full of praise. He is quiet and reserved but just starting to come out of his shell. And today was the first day he played with my dog.”
Freeman has now set up a GoFundMe appeal page for Jacob, and is hoping to raise £2,000 (approximately $2,921) to help fund much-needed surgery to remove his cataracts. To date, the page has raised £1,240 ($1,805). In her latest update, Freeman said, “Jacob is doing great (and) all of his sores are drying up. He’s really coming out of his shell. … We are very proud of him.” To donate to Jacob’s fund, click here.
You can learn more about the sad reality of greyhound racing – and why you should never buy a ticket to a racing event – by reading the articles below.
- The Shocking Cruelty Lurking Behind the Greyhound Racing Industry
- Greyhound Racing is Anything But Fun for the Dogs
- 10 Ways Greyhound Racing is Scarier Than a Stephen King Film
- 7 Awesome Greyhound Rescue Groups You Should Support
All Image Source: Shantel ’Sparkle’ Freeman/GoFundMe