Nearly 12,000 Greyhounds Injured at Failing Dog Tracks in the U.S.

GREY2K USA and the ASPCA unveil the first-ever national report on dog racing, documenting cruelty and neglect, deaths, and thousands of severe injuries
February 10, 2015

NEW YORK—Humane groups GREY2K USA and the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) today released the first-ever national report on greyhound racing in the United States. The detailed report chronicles thousands of greyhound injuries and hundreds of greyhound deaths in the seven states where greyhound tracks still operate. The report, titled “High Stakes,” is being mailed today to state lawmakers and opinion leaders to urge them to pass greyhound protection legislation and bring an end to this inherently cruel ‘sport’.

“For the first time, both the humane and economic costs of this cruel industry are documented for all to see,” said Christine Dorchak, president of GREY2K USA. “Taxpayers are losing money, states are doling out millions in annual subsidies, and gentle greyhounds continue to die as pawns to this antiquated industry.”

“Thirty-nine states have already made the humane decision to ban greyhound racing, but this cruel sport continues to exploit greyhounds despite public outcry and overwhelming financial losses from a dying industry,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “The ASPCA is proud to stand with our partners at GREY2K USA to shed light on the wanton cruelty inflicted on the thousands of dogs that enter the racing industry each year. We hope state lawmakers will agree that it is time to end dog racing once and for all.”

“High Stakes” is an 80-page report, compiling official data and dozens of photographs from nearly 600 sources. The report documents key findings from 2008-present that include:

  • 11,722 greyhound injuries. Injuries include more than 3,000 dogs that suffered broken legs and other injuries such as crushed skulls, broken backs, paralysis and electrocutions.
  • 909 racing greyhound deaths. The true number of deaths is likely higher as there are no verifiable statistics on the ultimate fate of greyhounds who survive racing but are disposed of each year when injured or no longer competitive.
  • 27 cases of greyhound cruelty and neglect. This figure captures the number of dogs who were starved to death, denied veterinary care, or endured poor track kennel conditions. Additionally, sixteen racing greyhounds tested positive for cocaine.
  • More than 80,000 young greyhounds have entered the racing industry. Greyhounds are kept in warehouse-style kennel compounds, in rows of stacked cages for long hours each day.
  • 2,200 state disciplinary rulings have been issued since 2008. Racing Commissions have a history of regulatory failures and industry attempts at self-regulating have proven to be ineffective.

Since 1991, forty-one dog tracks have closed or ended live racing, and the greyhound industry has seen a steady financial decline. Over the past decade, gambling on dog racing and greyhound breeding has declined by 66 percent and 57 percent, respectively. Government revenue from dog racing has dropped by 79 percent since 2001. As profits have declined, cost-cutting attempts -- like feeding greyhounds inexpensive “4-D” meat from diseased animals -- have resulted in poor track kennel conditions as well.

Greyhound tracks now operate in only seven states, but some of these states have laws that are propping up this dying industry by requiring gambling facilities to also operate greyhound tracks. This forced union continues to subsidize a cruel industry that drains millions of dollars from state governments. GREY2K USA and the ASPCA have launched a petition on to urge the governors in the seven states that still operate tracks – Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Texas and West Virginia -- to take decisive action against the ever-present cruelty found in greyhound racing and bring an end to this cruel sport.

To download High Stakes, go to