The Greyhound is an ancient breed of dog. It is the only dog mentioned in the Bible, and has been depicted in many ancient Egyptian paintings, dating back over 4,000 years. Greyhounds were so revered, that the Greyhounds were allowed to share their tents. In ancient Arabic countries, the birth of a son was the most important event, the second was the birth of a Greyhound. The history of dog racing can be traced back to Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century when Greyhounds were brought over to England from Egypt, where her majesty created the first formal rules
of dog coursing, naming it the “Sport of Queens”. In the 18th century, England exported the sport to America, and soon the sport was comprised of racing and gambling. In 1912, the dog racing as it is known today, was established by Owen Patrick Smith, the man who invented the mechanical lure used in today’s dog racing. The first official dog track was opened in 1919 in California, and in 1931, wagering was legalized in Florida, paving the way for the development of the Palm Beach Kennel Club. The Palm Beach Kennel Club operated permits for dog racing, which
officially started in America in 1932. Unfortunately, the once grandeur and majesty of the sport is tarnished with the unethical abuse these animals endure. The definition of animal abuse is “the crime of inflicting physical pain, suffering or death on an animal, usually a tame one, beyond necessity for normal discipline. It can include neglect that is so monstrous (withholding food and water) that the animal has suffered, died or been put in imminent danger of death. ” (Hill, 2005). Many Greyhounds are the subject of abuse in the racing world. The Greyhounds are subject to horrible conditions.
Many people enjoy watching a good race. The anticipation of the race and the thrill of their prized dog winning would make anyone want to attend a race. But it’s what happens before and after the race that has many people up in arms over the whole dog racing scene. When the dogs are not racing, they are kept in crates stacked one on top of the other. The dogs are not exercised regularly; the only exercise they get is from racing, and a race lasts for only a few minutes. If an Greyhound is injured during practice or during the race, the dog is killed and ground up for food for the other dogs.
Many Greyhounds also die during the race due to exhaustion and dehydration. It is important to address this issue because animal abuse is a crime, and most people who commit these heinous acts are never brought to justice. It is also important to understand why someone could harm an innocent animal. According to the ASPCA, there are three main reasons why someone would be cruel to animals in their article titled, Why people abuse animals. The first reason is that some people abuse animals is that they do not know they are abusing the animal.
Some people just don’t think about what they are doing to the animal, and others think excessive force is necessary to maintain control of the animal. A person who hits their dog when he or she does something wrong, like poop in the house, will use excessive force to show the animal that what he or she did was bad. Other people forget to roll down a window on a hot day with the animal in the car. The second reason a person would abuse animals is that the person will do it purposefully, but not for a continuous amount of time. Young kids who throw rocks at cats or kick a dog are an example
of this type of abuser. Many young children can be taught through support groups and educational programs to show how an animal feels when it is abused in such a way, and many children learn to respect animals. The third reason a person would abuse an animal is the most serious form of animal cruelty. The third reason a person would abuse an animal is for power. Many of these types of people enjoy hurting the weak and helpless animals, as it makes them feel in control. Most of these people who intentionally hurt an animal have serious psychological issues that need to be addressed.
If left unchecked, these issues may lead to more serious acts of violence. According the article, most people that were mentioned in the first and second reason for animal abuse can be educated through materials, counselors and educational classes. But even with the educational classes, what most people don’t understand is the psychological effects of the abuse has on animals. All animals want is to be loved and cared for, especially dogs. Humans have breed dogs to be our companions, and are the only animal that sets out to please us. When a human abuses an animal, we
lose that trust that the animal places in us. The main psychological effect abuse has on dogs can be devastating. A dog may feel threatened by any human that it comes in contact with, and the dog can turn aggressive out of fear. Other dogs are fearful and maintain their fearfulness throughout the rest of their lives. These dogs may cower away from humans, shunning away when a human has an object in their hand or hide when they hear raised voices. L. Kalef wrote an article titled Psychological effects of animal cruelty, and in the article, he talked about the effects of animal abuse in Eastern Europe.
For those who have traveled to Eastern European countries, it is not uncommon to be privy to packs of dogs roaming in some of the major cities, and sometimes being aggressive out of fear, hunger or abuse have led to provoke a similar reaction by the population by way of harm and abuse. Sadly, these neglected animals are under constant scrutiny and possible attack, which has become all too common. For years, welfare activists have been speaking up for the plight of the strays and the brutal inhumane abuse and killings; but no one until now has suggested that the
constant exposure of this violence may instigate other and further violent activity within the community. In other words, growing up in a society being exposed to animal abuse causes further abuse and lack of compassion. (Kalef, 2012) But there are many people who argue that dog racing is not the only animal sport that has animal abuse and that it is part of the sport. Throughout the world of animal sports, there are some instances of animal abuse. In Mexico, bullfighting is a very popular sport, where the object of the game is to kill the bull or else the Matador
will be stampeded or stabbed by the bulls horns. The bulls are starved and tortured, and they meaner the bull becomes, the more entertaining the sport. Also, horse racing has had its fair share of animal abuse cases. Many Thoroughbreds that receive an injury are killed, just like the Greyhounds, and made into meat that is sold for human consumption. J. Frater wrote an article titled 10 Debated acts of animal cruelty, which outlines a few instances that can be considered animal abuse. For those who have traveled to Eastern European countries, it is not uncommon to be privy to
packs of dogs roaming in some of the major cities, and sometimes being aggressive out of fear, hunger or abuse have led to provoke a similar reaction by the population by way of harm and abuse. Sadly, these neglected animals are under constant scrutiny and possible attack, which has become all too common. For years, welfare activists have been speaking up for the plight of the strays and the brutal inhumane abuse and killings; but no one until now has suggested that the constant exposure of this violence may instigate other and further violent activity within the community.
In other words, growing up in a society being exposed to animal abuse causes further abuse and lack of compassion. (Frater, 2010). But to most people, that is just the way the sport is. What is someone going to do with a prized race horse that has a broken leg and can no longer race? Why take the money to fix the injury, when the owner can make money off of selling the animal for food? It’s just part of the sport. But there is one question that needs to be answered. Which side is right? The truth is both sides are right. There will always be animal abuse in sports, as well as throughout the world.
We as a people will not be able to completely stop the abuse, we can just diminish the amount of animals are abused. Through the use of stricter laws and more regulations, we as humans can help the voiceless. In conclusion, though there is no one way to solve animal cruelty in the world. There will always be animal cruelty in the sporting world, but as long as we humans can educate the younger generations, the amount of cases of animal cruelty will drastically decrease. Only one can hope that the “Sport of Queens” can return once again to the grandeur and majesty that the sport once was.