Since 2008, more than thirty cases of greyhound cruelty and neglect have been documented in the United States. These cases occurred in all six states with active dog tracks, as well as in former racing states. They included physical abuse, parasitic infestations, starvation, and failure to provide veterinary care. The same maltreatment occurs around the world.
On May 5, 2017, Florida investigators conducted an inspection of Blanchard Kennels, owned and operated by National Greyhound Association (NGA) Director James Blanchard. Blanchard initially advised his staff to refuse entry, although investigators were eventually allowed to inspect the kennels. They discovered three greyhounds with expired vaccination records and an additional 43 greyhounds missing proof of vaccinations. Blanchard was also unable to provide a kennel roster for greyhounds in either of his two kennel buildings, and could not produce dates of receipt and release, greyhound names, tattoo numbers, names of owners, names of trainers, nor the names and license numbers for those transporting the greyhounds.
In January of 2017 in South Australia, greyhound handler Tony Rasmussen was televised sexually stimulating a greyhound before a race, which resulted in a $1,000 fine.
In October of 2016, Florida kennel operator Michael Klingbeil discovered his greyhound BC Diablo Sam looking “lethargic, drawn, and dehydrated” prior to a race. Instead of seeking veterinary care or withdrawing his dog from the race, he administered his own medical care and raced the dog anyway. After the race, BC Diablo Sam was found dead in his crate. Though he was originally charged with failing to treat his dog humanely, he and Florida regulators agreed to a stipulated order in which he only acknowledged wrongfully possessing a hypodermic needle.
In July of 2016, in New South Wales, Australia, kennel operator Robert Newstead was caught on film using an electric cattle prod on a greyhound before a race, an action which resulted in a 15-month suspension.
In April of 2016, West Virginia kennel operator Taylor Jones was found keeping greyhounds in very dirty conditions. Greyhounds were sleeping in wet urine-soaked beds, and she was found to be keeping restricted medical supplies in her kennel. For all of this, Jones was given a warning.
On March 5, 2015 in Ireland, it was discovered that farmer and dog breeder David Kirwan left his three greyhounds in such an emaciated stated that one had to be put down. Two of the greyhounds were “severely underweight,” and all three had lesions and pressure sores from inadequate bedding. Kirwan was fined €2,350, but was allowed to keep his non-racing dogs and herd of cows.
In June of 2014, Arkansas breeder Shane Vonderstrasse was found with 141 malnourished greyhounds and two dead greyhounds. These deaths occurred from a lack of food and water. In a police report, an NGA official stated that Vonderstrasse could financially support fewer than half the dogs he had. The NGA revoked his membership but refused to press official charges.
In 2011, greyhound Jack Sprat was forced to race in the United Kingdom’s former Wimbledon Stadium until his owner discovered he was blind.
In October of 2010, Ronnie Williams, Sr. was found with 37 dead and five severely malnourished greyhounds in his Florida kennel. In addition to his license being revoked, Williams was charged with 42 felony counts of animal cruelty, fined $170,000, and sentenced to prison for five years.
On March 4, 2009, during a routine inspection of Suncoast Kennel at the Palm Beach Kennel Club in Florida, an investigator found a severely injured greyhound named Dooley. The dog had an approximately four-inch open and infected wound on his neck that was dripping blood and fluid. The track veterinarian had examined Dooley on February 25, determined he had suffered a "very serious injury," and told trainer Osman Martinez to take the dog to a veterinarian immediately. Despite this instruction, Martinez did not obtain professional care for Dooley and instead treated him with unprescribed medication. It was not until state investigators discovered the dog that Dooley finally received proper medical attention. Dooley was subsequently released for adoption to Greyhound Pets of America, Florida Southeast Coast Chapter. Martinez was arrested for felony cruelty to animals. Several months later he entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the State Attorney's Office.
The greyhound export crisis has also dominated the news recently. In 2015, ABC News broke the story that Australian greyhound breeders were exporting greyhounds to countries with no welfare standards, such as China and Vietnam. There are no known adoption programs in these countries, so this is essentially a death sentence. Since the ABC story broke, the Irish greyhound industry has also come under fire for exporting dogs to these same countries.