I AM writing in response to a letter published in the Oxford Mail concerning the fate of retired or failed racing greyhounds.

I would like to take issue with the claims of Susan Smith. The activities which she asserts are the case in greyhound racing are completely unfamiliar to me. I recognise none of them.

I visit racing kennels regularly and find the dogs happy, healthy and extremely well cared for. I work with retired greyhounds which are cared for in the same way. I visit various stadia and see dogs that are in the peak of health, doing what comes quite naturally to them.

The routine cruelty and indifference as described by Ms Smith quite simply does not exist. Indeed, it is far more likely to occur with domestic pets than racing greyhounds.

The public eye is on the racing dogs, whereas what goes on behind closed doors is overlooked or ignored.

Am I suggesting that the world of racing greyhounds is 100 per cent perfect? Of course not, I wouldn’t be so stupid. If I were to do so, I would be being as crass and blind as the people such as Ms Smith.

It is crass in the extreme to suggest the hideous treatment she describes is all in a day’s work for a greyhound. I will, however, state this as fact: an unhappy, unhealthy and badly treated dog will not run. This is a fact, in the same way as an unhappy, unhealthy and badly treated pet dog won’t chase a ball or wag its tail.

Retired greyhounds make wonderful pets, as so many people are finding out. One of the main things that make them such wonderful pets is that their experiences with humans are almost exclusively positive, therefore they have no need to fear them.


Pelham Road