At least 2,649 greyhounds destroyed in Irish pounds since 2010

29 Mar


At least 2,649 greyhounds have been destroyed in Irish pounds in the past eight years, shocking statistics reveal. The dogs are just some of the many victims of the cruel greyhound industry.

The local authority dog pound stats show that since 2010, 3,130 greyhounds were surrendered to pounds around the country and 2,649 of these were destroyed.

According to the latest available figures for 2016, 284 “stray and unwanted greyhounds” ended up in pounds during the year. This includes 234 greyhounds surrendered by owners, 46 strays and 4 seized greyhounds. Fifteen of these were reclaimed or rehomed, 115 were transferred to dog welfare groups and the remaining 152 didn’t make it out alive.

The greyhound pound death rate has been falling since 2010 when 672 were euthanised but this is most likely due to the fact that most of the pounds no longer accept greyhounds for euthanasia.

According to the Greyhound Rescue Association of Ireland, “the decline in greyhounds accepted into dog pounds…raises further concerns of what is actually happening to those greyhounds turned away. The decline does not balance with any raised homing figures – far from it.”

“There are still huge concerns that hundreds of greyhounds are being destroyed in dog pounds, and there is documented evidence to show that perfectly healthy greyhounds are among those abandoned with very little chance of escaping death,” the association adds.

Commenting on the killing of greyhounds when they are no longer considered good enough to win, celebrity vet, Pete Wedderburn last year wrote: “There’s a strong argument that the State should not be subsidising the greyhound racing industry in this way, nor should the concept of ‘euthanasia at the end of usefulness’ be supported. This urgently needs be addressed.”

In addition to the 152 greyhounds destroyed in Irish pounds in 2016, 1,522 other dogs (lurchers and other breeds) were killed.

The greyhounds being killed in pounds represent just a small portion of the greyhound industry’s victims. In the past three years alone, over a thousand greyhounds suffered injuries at tracks around Ireland and 385 were destroyed by track vets. In addition, thousands of greyhounds go missing each year, presumed killed when found to be too slow to win races. One Irish trainer remarked online: “I’ve seen dogs being shot. It has to be done as there’s too many of them to rehome.” A former chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board meanwhile admitted on Cork’s 96 FM that he believes it is “absolutely” okay for thousands of dogs to be killed and that racing couldn’t exist without the destruction of dogs.


Say NO to the greyhound industry – don’t attend races or fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the greyhound industry). Distribute our “6 reasons to say NO to greyhound racing” leaflet outside greyhound tracks to encourage people to show compassion and boycott greyhound racing. You can download the leaflet at or order copies by emailing

The cruel and crumbling greyhound industry has received nearly a quarter of a billion euros of taxpayers’ money since 2001 (including €16 million for 2018). Urge Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to end funding to the greyhound industry and instead direct the money to charities and other deserving causes. Email “Stop funding the cruel greyhound industry” to,,,

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Paschal Donohoe TD
Minister for Finance
Phone: +353 (0)1 6045810
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to @Paschald

Please sign and share our petition
Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry


Greyhounds destroyed at Irish dog pounds

2016 – 152
2015 – 203
2014 – 245
2013 – 427
2012 – 404
2011 – 546
2010 – 672


Greyhound injuries and deaths at Irish tracks

Injuries: 357. Deaths: 124

Injuries: 427. Deaths: 139

Injuries: 422. Deaths: 122

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