This past election season resulted in a decisive victory for Massachusetts’s greyhounds, and set a promising precedent for their brethren across the country. Despite the state’s significant racetrack presence, Massachusetts residents voted 56 to 44 percent to ban greyhound racing, a law made possible by the relentless efforts of nonprofit group Grey2KUSA.
Since the early 20th century, greyhounds have been exploited by the racing industry, forced to endure lives of prolonged confinement and contagious disease, deprived of affection, and oftentimes discarded or culled when no longer able to win races. Most track dogs incur injuries from the high-impact nature of the sport, some of which are career-, and ultimately, life-ending.
The racing industry also fuels puppy mills; many greyhounds come from over 800 breeding facilities, both backyard and highly commercialized operations, throughout 43 states. Greyhound pups are churned out en masse, contributing to the ongoing pet overpopulation crisis, which is responsible for the euthanasia of four to five million companion animals every year.
Hopefully, Massachusetts’s adoption of the ban represents a tide change in attitudes about greyhound racing in other states across the nation.