Listen Up! Episode #13: Greyhound Industry Teeters on the Brink as the Last Alabama Track Ends Live Racing

Greyhound racing has been in something of a free fall for a generation, and so much of that retrenchment has been coincident with the work of Grey2K USA. The group, formed in 2001 by Carey Theil and Christine Dorchak, has been single-minded and strategic in working to end greyhound racing in America. Animal Wellness Action has been proud to partner with the organization on the landmark 2018 Florida ballot measure to phase out racing by the end of 2020 and also to join in with other campaigns to eliminate the practice in the remaining states where it occurs.

On today’s show, we talk with Carey Theil, the president of the organization, who with his co-leader Christine Dorchak, has helped shutter track after track.

AWA and Grey2K USA most recently celebrated the end of racing in Alabama, with the announcement last week by the sole surviving track that it would shutter live racing.  This win comes not long after both organizations had a major hand in pushing forward an agreement to phase out greyhound racing in Arkansas last fall.

Once the phase-outs take full effect in Arkansas and Florida, greyhound racing will remain in just three states — Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia.

As this industry continues to wither, animal welfare concerns will become even more pressing because of threadbare operations that will be forced to cut corners in animal care to survive. The industry has proven that it is incapable of changing. Instead of cleaning up its act, it has fought reform efforts. Dogs play an important role in our lives, and they deserve to be protected from unpopular spectacles that put them at risk.

The Animal Wellness Podcast is a regular segment that not only delivers timely information but offers insights and analysis you won’t hear anywhere else. We’ll offer in-depth discussions of local, state, or federal policy and elections, and the effects of laws and regulations on corporations. We hope you’ll listen today, and also check out earlier episodes:

Wayne Pacelle is the founder of Animal Wellness Action, president of the Center for a Humane Economy, and former president of the Humane Society of the U.S. who conceived the idea of the PACT Act. He founded the Humane Society Legislative Fund and prior to that, he was executive director of The Fund for Animals. The Non-Profit Times named him seven times as one of the nation’s top 50 non-profit executives, and in 2005, he was named executive of the year. Pacelle is a two-time New York Times best selling author of The Bond and Humane Economy.

Marty Irby is the executive director at Animal Wellness Action. Irby worked in the United States House of Representatives for Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) serving as Communications Director and Agriculture Policy Advisor. He is a former president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association, a Heritage Foundation Congressional Fellow, former director of equine protection and rural affairs at the Humane Society of the U.S., and native of South Alabama who grew up on a horse and cattle farm. He graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Communications, and attended Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Joseph Grove is a freelance writer and six-time recipient of awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. His background also includes hosting a radio show called Jargon on WQMF FM in Louisville, Ky., and podcasts for Bisig Impact Group and Southern Gaming and Destinations. He began dedicating his volunteer time to animal issues in 2014 and currently works as a court-appointed special advocate for children in family court in Shelby and Spencer Counties in Kentucky.