Research Background and Topic
The American Society for the Prevention of Animal of Cruelty defines animal cruelty as “acts of violence or neglect perpetrated against animals…” (ASPCA, 2013). Cruelty can range anywhere from physical abuse, mental abuse, overuse, lack of socialization to neglecting to feed, water or shelter an animal properly and humanely. Many of those who commit animal cruelty have to conscious conception that they are truly participating in it. Many institutions such as puppy mills and factory farming knowingly participate in these acts and are widely illustrated in the media for doing so. But the institution of greyhound racing around the world, has been deeply involved in cruelty and abuse, but has not been as widely noticed due to its deep roots in society.
It has not been until recent years that greyhound racing has come under scrutiny by the media and advocate groups such as GREY2KUSA and the American European Greyhound Alliance. Many forms of animal cruelty run rampant in the institution of international racing and need to be addressed immediately before the lives of more innocent dogs are put at risk. This form of animal cruelty is on the decline and can further be prevented if individuals fight for the cause and strive to rescue these dogs before they face “death in the fast lane” (PETA, 2011).
Racing greyhounds, like any other animal, can be subjected to many different types of abuse and cruelty both on and off the racetrack. According to Addie Asay, the greyhound industry uses practices that hurt and kills dogs; this is an occurrence that must be battled. Abuses commonly seen within the industry include the use of neglect, lack of medical care, abandonment, starvation, overcrowding and abuses in transportation (2003). Each of these practices is punishable under animal cruelty statues in the United States. Other types of cruelty in the industry that exist but are not punishable are lack of space, exercise and training, dangers on the actual racing track, and unnecessary euthanasia (Asay, 2003).
These different types of abuses contribute to many unnecessary deaths of dogs each and every year. In many examples of neglect, it can be seen that trainers may not feed or water their dogs on a regular basis; this essentially leads to starvation and dehydration that can lead to early deaths. Dangerous conditions on racing tracks can lead to many injuries such broken legs, strains, sprains, and lacerations. In 2011, it was reported that on West Virginia Racetracks there were “855 track injuries sustained, 277…career ending… (and) 40 died” (GREY2KUSA, 2012). These numbers show how common injury is. Additionally, lack of veterinarian help and care essentially will lead dogs that sustain serious to small injuries to death by euthanasia since they are unfit to race.
Small and overcrowded kennels are issues that are discussed by Michael Atkinson and Kevin Young (2005). In their article it is suggested that”…at any given time, a...