It’s illegal in 39 states. It’s cruel. It’s animal abuse. So why are people still doing it?

Greyhound racing. It may not sound particularly sinister at first glance, a group of dogs running and humans watching to see who’s the fastest.

That’s probably what many Floridians were thinking when lawmakers first legalized gambling on the sport in their state in 1931. Spending a day out at the track, mingling with friends and relations, indulging in decadent snacks, cheering when a handsome dog bounded gracefully across the finish line.

What could ever spoil such a glorious occasion?

Perhaps a Change in Perspective

Spending about twenty hours behind bars, not knowing why you’re there, barely able to stand up, let alone move around. Nothing to look at but a wall, occasional passers-by, maybe a few others like you who are trapped, cramped, and confused. An unidentifiable, uncooked, smelly brownish lump to eat every once in a while, and a bathroom break here and there after it’s made its way through your system. And, if you’re lucky, a chance every so often to chase after a fuzzy thing on a stick, if you have the energy.

As sad as it sounds, this is the reality for thousands of greyhounds in the U.S., day in and day out.

Greyhound Racing Lost Its Momentum in Recent Years

greyhounds are abusedHowever, more than half of the remaining 21 tracks in the U.S. are located in Florida, a state which does not require race tracks to report their dogs’ injuries, and which has less than stellar standards when it comes to issuing licenses to racing dog owners.

According to a new investigation by the Miami Herald’s capital bureau chief, Mary Ellen Klas, the state has denied 115 license applications from convicted felons within the past year, but has granted licenses to 80 other convicted felons known to have been involved in such crimes as assault, battery, and illegal drug possession.

Racing greyhounds are often physically abused, neglected, and sometimes given illicit stimulants like cocaine in order to enhance their performance.

When owners or trainer