Movie fans can have a White Christmas (if they like sentiment) or a Black Christmas (if they like horror). Music fans can enjoy a “Blue Christmas.” Now, fans of animal protection can have a Grey Christmas—as in greyhounds.
That’s right. What could be a better gift this holiday season than to learn about the bankruptcy and closure of another greyhound racing park, this one in Hinsdale, New Hampshire (just two left in New Hampshire now! Come on team, let’s stop them both next!). More than a half-century of animal abuse in Hinsdale—first horses, then dogs—will come to an end. Who wouldn’t want to find that under the tree? (Or, better yet, for eight nights over Hanukkah!)
Now, some of you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Don’t greyhounds love to run?” Here’s the 411: Dogs who are used in races spend most of their days stuck in cramped cages or kennels and suffer other abuses, just for a few minutes on a track during a race. Thousands of greyhounds are killed each year before they ever touch a racetrack, and many more will be killed when they fail to “perform.” Injuries and sickness, including broken legs, heatstroke, and heart attacks, claim the lives of many more.
In fact, few dogs make it to the supposed “retirement’ age of 4 or 5, and only a fraction of the discarded dogs are placed in homes through greyhound adoption groups. The rest may be killed or sold to laboratories. To learn more, check this out. So yeah, still think they “love to run?”
The Hinsdale closure comes after the park had already cut back on the number of racing days due to “falling attendance.” Clearly, people are getting the picture about dog and horse racing and staying away. Yet some folks are trying to prop up the racing industry by putting slot machines at tracks to lure more people. Um, hello? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just open a casino and do away with racing altogether (as the good people of Massachusetts recently approved).
Let’s end dog- and horse-racing. ‘Tis the season!
Written by Jeff Mackey