At dog tracks nationwide, greyhounds routinely suffer serious injuries. From January 2008 through April 2018, a total of 15,273 greyhound injuries have been documented. The most commonly reported injury was a broken leg. Other injuries included head trauma, electrocution, and broken backs.
At two West Virginia dog tracks, 8,159 greyhound injuries were reported between January 2008 and March 2018, including at least 398 dogs that died or were euthanized.
At Southland Greyhound Park in Arkansas, 1,148 greyhound injuries were reported between January 2008 and April 2018, including at least 35 dogs that died or were euthanized.
At Iowa Greyhound Park, 416 greyhound injuries were reported between January 2008 and October 2017, including at least 29 dogs that died or were euthanized.
The remaining two states with active dog tracks, Alabama and Florida, do not report greyhound injuries to the public. This is a notable omission because a majority of operational dog tracks are now located in Florida. Minimal injury data has become available through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) investigative files, death notifications, and inspection reports.
Florida inspectors regularly cite dozens of injuries per month in their greyhound kennel inspection reports, including broken legs and ankles, though these injuries are generally listed in bulk with little information identifying the names of the dogs involved, injury dates or causes. Investigative reports, however, do reveal the existence of the Florida industry’s own internal injury reporting system and death investigations. An examination of these records alone identified 269 greyhound injuries between 2008 and 2017, including at least 90 dogs that died or were euthanized prior to state-mandated death reporting in 2013.
Greyhound racing injuries have also been documented in other countries. After a national live baiting scandal, the state of New South Wales, Australia began publishing aggregate injury data in quarterly reports. From January 1, 2016 to March 31, 2018, these reports identify 5,335 injuries, including 473 catastrophic and major injuries which ended in instant death or post-race “euthanasia.”
Tracks in the United Kingdom do not make injury information public at all, but GREY2K USA Worldwide conducted an analysis of injury information obtained from the social media accounts of leading industry members. A total of 276 specific greyhound injuries dating from 2006 to June 2014 could be documented. As in other racing jurisdictions, bone fractures were overwhelmingly the most frequently reported injury.