Thousands of puppies are bred each year for this cruel industry
According to the National Greyhound Association (NGA), there are 300 greyhound breeding facilities and kennels in the United States. Around 60 of these are in Iowa, with a large number also located in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Females are impregnated, many through artificial insemination by a veterinarian and have their litters on site. At a few months of age, puppies' right ears are tattooed with their birth date and order. Later, an individual registration number is tattooed in the left ear. While at these breeding facilities, dogs are often kept outside, in large dirt pens with minimal shelter. Greyhounds spend approximately one year at these locations before they begin race training.
There is also evidence that some greyhound puppies disappear from record. According to Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the average litter size between 2006 and 2008 was 5.38 puppies per litter. This is remarkably low. National statistics provided by the NGA for the same period indicate a litter size of 6.04. Using the NGA average litter size, a total of 493 Iowa greyhound puppies would not be accounted for during the period 2006 through 2008. Previously, the greyhound industry has defended this discrepancy by stating that there is a natural attrition rate of approximately 5%. However, even after taking this natural attrition rate into consideration, Iowa state statistics still do not account for hundreds of greyhound puppies.
Greyhound breeding has decreased sharply
As dog tracks close, the number of greyhounds bred for racing continues to shrink. A total of 10,422 individual dogs were registered to race in 2015 as compared to 26,797 in 2001, a decline of 61%. The number of greyhounds adopted into loving homes each year is unknown. In 2011, the National Greyhound Association acknowledged that there are "no cumulative annual records" available regarding the ultimate fate of racing greyhounds.
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