Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque, which opened in 1992, will be the last of three tracks in the state and will end racing by January 1. Sally Briggs, the park’s general manager, said the facility has been unable to successfully compete with racetracks in surrounding states that offer expanded gambling opportunities.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, figures from the Texas Racing Commission show there’s been a huge loss of interest, with an 85 percent decline in wagering since the park first opened.
The closure of yet another track, and end to this so-called sport in another state, is a huge win for dogs and everyone who has been advocating to shut this industry down. Now countless dogs will be spared the fate of having to literally run for their lives and Texas can put its shady racing history in the past where it belongs.
Among the general welfare concerns surrounding greyhounds that range from keeping them in small cages for most of their lives to feeding them poor quality food, racing in Texas has also been plagued with serious issues from the spread of a deadly disease at Gulf Greyhound Park, forged health records, the use of drugs and failing to provide veterinary care to a trainer getting busted for using live rabbits as lures to train dogs.
According to GREY2K, between 2008 and 2014 alone, more than 2,300 injuries were also reported in the state, while 115 dogs died or were destroyed because to the severity of their injuries. Sadly, the most commonly reported injuries were broken legs, but others included torn muscles, puncture wounds, lacerations, dislocations, sprains and fractures – all needlessly suffered by dogs being used for nothing more than our entertainment.
The closure now leaves only six states with operational tracks, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa and West Virginia. The closures and dwindling interest in this dying industry is a hopeful sign that more states will soon follow.
Briggs said of the 600 dogs at the track now that “no greyhound will be left behind” and that they will either be sent to other states or will go into adoption programs.
If you’re interested in supporting rescue efforts or adopting greyhounds in Texas, check out Greyhound Rescue Austin and the Texas Adopt a Greyhound Society. For a list of national organizations working to save greyhounds, check out GREY2K’s adoption page.