I have my opinions about all sorts of things, especially when it comes to dogs, dog training, dog related sports, and plenty more. But, recently I've seen action to ban some dog sports and I've noticed that every article or post I see is either "Ban ALL of them!" or "Don't Ban ANY of Them!" Thankfully, I think just like in politics, most people fall somewhere in the middle. But just like in politics trying to reason with those that are "Far" one way or the other is generally useless.
I bring this up because I am personally against the sport of Greyhound racing and I support some of the groups out there that are pushing to end the practice of the sport. Now a lot of people who are opposed to Greyhound racing are also against lure coursing, dog-sledding, mushing, weight pulling, and all of the like. However, I base my opinions on the well-being of the dogs that are participating.
Greyhound racing is a topic near and dear to me because I had the pleasure to adopt a retired racing greyhound. Her story is actually very sad, but thankfully has a happy ending, which cannot be said for most of the greyhound in the industry. When my greyhound was a racer, her name was "Sunny Daze," and boy was she good. She placed and even won several races! However, her short career ended when her femur broke on one of the turns during a race and she was trampled by the other dogs.
Now, when the racetrack greyhound owners can't race their dog anymore, it means that dog can't make them any more money. That is literally the only reason they involve the dog in the sport, just to make money. They don't care for the dogs, by the time they are done racing their teeth are rotting, and they usually have any number of scars or injuries from track mishaps. So, instead of just surrendering the dogs to a Greyhound Rescue, the racetrack dog owners like to make one last buck off the greyhounds by selling them to a "Blood" company like the one Sunny Daze got sent to called "Hemopet."
If you look up Hemopet online, they come across as a company that does good things for animals by providing blood to veterinary hospitals. But they don't advertise where that blood is coming from. The majority of the blood is from involuntary blood donors, often retired racetrack greyhounds because they are universal blood donors for dogs, and they can buy the dogs cheap after they can't race anymore. But, I digress...
The point of the story is, I'm against Greyhound Racing because it is a terrible industry where the dog owners don't give a damn about whether the dog lives or dies as long as they get paid. So, the other sports out there, like lure coursing, sled-dog racing, flyball, protection sports, and many others are people who have to pay large sums of money on taking care of their dogs, buying equipment, training, and they pay to participate in these competitions and events because both the handlers and the dogs love it!
This is where I see a major difference between Greyhound racing among other blood sports versus the events where people and their animals compete for fun. I wouldn't mind letting my greyhound chace the rabbit around the track for fun, if I wasn't terrified of her getting hurt (she is super clumsy). But if she isn't the fastest that's okay with me. I would let her do it if she wants to. If that is what makes her happy.