Below is a letter that I sent to a friend to explain why an end to Greyhound racing is the only way to stop the terrible cruelty that, as an inherent part of the racing industry, occurs every day of every year. As I did with the "Letter from Tom", elsewhere on this web site, I have changed my friend's name. For the purpose of the letter we will call her Rosina. Please feel free to copy and distribute to help the Greyhounds.
Thanks for your email about the story of the Greyhound that I sent to you. Unfortunately this is just one of thousands every year and that is the root of the problem, the sheer numbers bred to keep this vile industry supplied with stock. A good word for a loving dog isn't it? Stock? You asked why they don't take them to a rescue centre instead of killing them. Rosina, there just aren't enough rescue groups around to cater for these numbers, and the ones that do exist are full. You know what that's like through your involvement with Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary don't you? They are always full with a long waiting list, and that seems to apply to most of the other animal sanctuaries as well. If they can't even cope with the numbers of abandoned and un-wanted dogs of all kinds, they certainly can't take an extra 30,000 Greyhounds every year.
Even if a Greyhound rescue kennels could be found that would take the dog, the owner would not be interested because the centre might expect a donation, or it might be a few miles away and cost money for petrol to get there. That is the only thing they are interested in Rosina, money. It's a business to make money for them, and as with all businesses it's good practice to keep costs down and profits up. The dogs are the assets of the business and as with an item of machinery, if it doesn't work as well as it should do, it is good business practice to replace it.
I know that some people will counter this argument by saying "oh, I know Fred at the Westhoughton track, (or wherever) and he always finds good homes for his dogs when they finish racing, what you are saying is not true." Well good for Fred, he is just one out of hundreds who has a spark of something, (conscience, guilt, I don't know) it's unlikely to be compassion or Fred wouldn't be in the game to begin with. There may be a few more Freds around but the majority don't even have the basic traits of humanity that Fred displays. The majority will get someone like David Smith to deal with their worn out stock when it can no longer produce the cash, and there are many, many David Smiths about, he was just the one who got caught.
It's not only what happens to the dogs if they manage to make it to three or four years old and thus become too old to race, it's also the terrible injuries they sustain during their career. The one in the e-mail I sent to you was one of these, he broke his leg in the service of his master and was rewarded by death. Ironically, he was lucky in one way, he was taken from the track by the duty vet and killed fairly quickly. I know of similar cases where a dog has been left in agony for hours or days before someone decided what to do, then at last they were killed.
2007 has been a particularly bad year for the Greyhound racing industry. The media attention to cases like David Smith and others has heightened the public awareness about what has been happening to these beautiful dogs for over eighty years now. 2008 must be the year when it ends. The weak British government, of whatever political party, will never ban Greyhound racing, because I honestly believe that there is not an ounce of care and compassion in any individual who comprise it; and then of course, there is the money. There are a lot of wealthy figures with interests in perpetuating this cruelty. We must counter whatever they try to do by calling upon each and every person who cares to do all they can to expose Greyhound racing for what it is. If there are no customers to support the business, then the business will cease to exist. Please help us Rosina, tell everyone you can to tell everyone they can never to go to a Greyhound race and then please take the time to explain clearly why not, as I have tried to do in this e-mail to you. Let's make 2008 the year that the world becomes a little bit more humane.