There are two greyhound tracks in West Virginia, Wheeling Island in Wheeling and Tri-State Greyhound Park in Cross Lanes. Races are conducted year-round at both facilities, with a total of 485 race meets held in 2016.1 As of 2013, there were between 1,400 and 1,800 greyhounds kept confined at the tracks' kennel compounds.2
Caged greyhounds at Wheeling Island in West Virginia. (Greyhound Relocation & Adoption Canada Forum)
DKC Romancandle fell during this Tri State race and was later destroyed. (Tri-State)
Greyhounds at the Tri-State kennel in West Virginia. (Maupin Greyhound Racing Kennel)
A caged greyhound at the-Tri-State dog track in West Virginia. (Maupin Greyhound Racing Kennel)
Racing greyhounds at Wheeling spend 22-hours or more each day in these cages. (KeepWVgreyhounds)
Braska Train was destroyed after the injuries he suffered during this race. (Wheeling Island)
The dogs racing at the state's two dog tracks are bred both in and out of state. According to the President of the West Virginia Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association, close to 1,000 greyhounds are whelped in West Virginia annually.3 The breeders of West Virginia-bred greyhounds receive subsidies that come from the state's gambling profits. Since 2002, breeders have received over $77 million through the Greyhound Breeding Development Fund.4 In March 2014, lawmakers voted to permanently reduce such subsidies by ten percent.5
The West Virginia Racing Commission regulates greyhound racing in the state and enforces the Rules of Racing.
In 2016, the total amount wagered on live greyhound racing in the state was $14,100,164, a decline of 56.9
percent from ten years before.6
West Virginia Racing Commission Annual Report 2016, West Virginia Racing Commission, 2017, racing.wv.gov (accessed November 15, 2017).
"Evening Performance Program,” Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, July 22, 2013, mardigrascasinowv.com (accessed July 22, 2013); W. Va. C.S.R §178-2-26.2.a ; Zack Harold, “Debate over number of races at Wheeling casino continues,” Charleston Daily Mail, February 13, 2013, charlestondailymail.com (accessed February 14, 2014).
Phil Kabler, “Funding allotment for greyhound training tracks questioned,” The Charleston Gazette, September 28, 2009, charleston-gazette.vlex.com (accessed November 15, 2017).
Joel Ebert, “More than $77 million in subsidies paid out to breeders since 2002, records show,” Charleston Daily Mail, June 28, 2015, charlestondailymail.com (accessed November 15, 2017).
John McVey, "Accord reached on House Bill 4333," The Journal, March 14, 2014,journal-news.net (accessed November 15, 2017).
West Virginia Racing Commission Annual Report 2016, West Virginia Racing Commission,
2017, racing.wv.gov (accessed November 15, 2017); West Virginia Racing Commission Annual
Report 2006, West Virginia Racing Commission, 2007, racing.wv.gov (accessed November 15, 2017).
“Lower revenue means there's less in the way of money to care for the dogs since the operators must cut overhead. Case in point, the recent violations of a kennel operator who was charged with forging vaccination records — an obvious cost-saving measure by the kennel operator. Hundreds of greyhounds were placed in danger due to the act.”
— Danny Adkins, Vice President, Mardi Gras Casinos in Florida and West Virginia