The Dairyland Greyhound Track is officially closing December 31, 2009. As happy as I am about the 500+ dogs that will no longer be abused for the amusement of humans and will finally get to experience a real, happy and fulfilling life, I am aware that our society has a long ways to go when it comes to treating animals humanely. We still have greyhound race tracks scattered across the country, with dogs living in conditions very similar to that of puppy mills (living in cages, no human interaction, no mental or physical stimulation of toys/walks/dog parks, questionable healthcare, no controlled temperature, etc). We still have horse tracks that promote racing horses at too young of an age, pumping them full of drugs, and simply killing them when they become injured or are no longer fast enough. We still have bull fighting, cock fighting, dog fighting…
So while this is a great victory for dogs and the animal rights movement, it is a very small victory. Unfortunately, the race track is not shutting down because they realized that what they were doing was inhumane or because Wisconsin passed an animal welfare law forcing them out of business. They are shutting down because they were no longer making enough money. We must continue to push for animal fighting to be illegal with hefty punishments if caught, for animal race tracks to be shut down, and for puppy mills to no longer exist. Abusing animals for pleasure should be illegal and we must not rest until it is.
On a related note, these 500+ dogs are going to be needing homes/foster homes very soon! Greyhounds are amazing dogs and make great family pets. Please visit http://www.gpawisconsin.org and consider supporting them in any way you can, whether it is with opening your home for foster care or just donating a bottle of bleach, every little bit helps!
(picture taken from http://www.gpawisconsin.org)