LEXINGTON, Ky - The greyhound racing industry is declining in the United States, but there are still plenty of dogs being retired every year from tracks across the country. Dog racing is banned in Kentucky, but one group is fostering retired greyhounds and finding them new homes in the Bluegrass State.
A Feeder’s Supply in Lexington, among other businesses, hosts the Bluegrass Greyhound Adoption group at least twice a month.
“I think they’re amazing,” said store manager Tracy White. “They do a lot of great work; they’ve always been great to us; and I like to promote that.”
The group works with American tracks and fosters the unique breed after their racing careers are over, according to president Pam Peyton.
“They just make awesome pets right off the bat,” said Peyton. “The racing community counts on adoption groups to help them out, so when their racing careers are over we can move those dogs into permanent homes where they can live the rest of their lives with families.”
Pam and her colleagues support racing and say it actually develops happy, healthy, and well-behaved pets. Groups like the Humane Society of the United States staunchly opposes racing, and has launched a campaign to eradicate it nationwide. They claim dogs are disposed of when injured, and locked up for up to 23 hours a day.
“That’s impossible,” Peyton said as she shook her head. “They wouldn’t be so well-muscled and such great athletes if they were stuck in a crate for 23 hours a day. I mean, common sense would tell you that.”
Pam says she’s never seen poor conditions at any track she’s visited, and that racing is what the dogs want to do.
“Do you know how you force a greyhound to run?” she continued. “You let go of their collar, because they love to run.”
The most striking images for the anti-race movement are likely those of dogs wearing muzzles. Pam says those aren’t put on to prevent biting attacks, but rather nips to their thin skin during play, including races.