“Where greyhound racing continues, it is not only dangerous (to the dogs) … it’s a parasite for the economy,” said Christine Dorchak, president and general counsel of GREY2K USA Worldwide, a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to end greyhound racing around the world. Dorchak is working to partner with Alabama Baptists and the Humane Society in Alabama to end greyhound racing in the state.
“What’s happening in Birmingham and Mobile is deplorable,” Dorchak said, referring to the two greyhound racetracks that keep the dogs contained in small, stacked cages for more than 20 hours at a time. Common injuries greyhounds receive when racing include smashed skulls, broken legs and electrocution. In most cases, such injuries are death sentences. The exact number of greyhounds raced, injured and killed at the two Alabama racetracks is unknown, as the state is 1 of 2 that does not report injuries and fatalities to the public.
Dorchak said the Birmingham race course was inspected three times in 2013 with inspectors finding “noxious, flea-ridden, filthy” conditions, but no citation was ever written. “Nothing was done to improve the conditions of the dogs,” she said.
Joe Godfrey, executive director of Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP), said ALCAP supports any organization that seeks to end gambling in the state.
Dorchak is in the process of writing a bill to require that injury records be made available to public so that the Alabama voters can determine whether the racetracks should stay open.
For more information about GREY2K USA Worldwide, visit grey2kusa.org.