Greyhound Cruelty Cases | GREY2K USA Worldwide

Greyhound cruelty and neglect cases within the United States

Since 2008, over 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. These cases include physical abuse, parasitic infestations, starvation, and failing to provide veterinary care.

  • In October 2016, Florida greyhound trainer 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 the Florida regulators agreed to a stipulated order in which he only acknowledged wrongfully possessing a hypodermic needle.

  • In April 2016, West Virginia greyhound trainer Taylor Jones was found keeping greyhounds in very dirty conditions. Greyhounds were sleeping in wet urine-soaked beds, and she was found in possession of restricted medical supplies in the kennel. For all of this, she was given a warning.

  • In June 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 October 2010, Ronnie Williams, Sr. was found with 37 dead greyhounds and several who were severely malnourished in his Florida kennel. In addition to his license being revoked, Williams was charged with 42 counts of animal cruelty, fined $170,000, and sentenced to prison for five years.

  • On March 4, 2009, during a routine inspection of the Suncoast Kennel at 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 it was a "very serious injury," and told trainer Osman Martinez to take the dog to his veterinarian immediately. Despite this instruction, Martinez did not obtain veterinary 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 put up for adoption with 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.

Greyhound cruelty and neglect around the world

Greyhound cruelty and neglect cases continue to make headlines around the world. In January 2017 in South Australia, greyhound trainer Tony Rasmussen was televised sexually stimulating a greyhound before a race, which resulted in a $1,000 fine. In July 2016, New South Wales, Australia, greyhound trainer Robert Newstead was caught on film using an electric cattle prod on a greyhound right before the race, an action which resulted in a 15-month suspension. In 2011, greyhound Jack Sprat was forced to race in the United Kingdom’s former Wimbledon Stadium until his owner discovered he was blind.

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, like China and Vietnam. There are no official rehoming projects in place to accommodate the constant influx of dogs, so being sent to race at Macau’s Canidrome or Vietnam’s Lam Dom Stadium was essentially a death sentence. Since this story broke, the Irish greyhound industry has also come under fire for exporting dogs to these same countries.

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