Greyhounds love to run, just like any other dog. However on a typical race day, a greyhound may have travelled for some considerable distance and been caged for hours only to be let out of their cage for a thirty second race. If their owners truly wanted them to enjoy themselves, they would take them somewhere where the dog could explore, walk and run around for a decent length of time, socialising with other dogs, in a safe environment, not a thirty second race for the benefit of gamblers and financial gain of vested interests. When they race, they are reacting to their training, pushing their bodies to extreme lengths, often causing serious harm and frequently leading to traumatic injuries and death. Training a greyhound to race at dangerous speeds is not in that dogs best interests, just like letting a dog roam at night or chase cars is not in that dogs best interests. Greyhound trainers craft their dogs' entire lives around track racing, so its no surprise that many take the opportunity to go as fast as they can when a gate opens, considering that some days their only exercise is a 30 second sprint. Many greyhounds don't even make it into the racing industry. If they love to race, why do they need to aggravate their prey drive for years and use a mechanical lure, and what benefit is that aggravated prey drive when their racing career comes to an end? They certainly dont like being confined to cages, often for weeks on end when they attain racing injuries. Some injuries are for life, preventing them from ever having a good run again. Greyhounds would much rather enjoy the simple pleasures of family life that any other type of dog can take for granted.
There's greyhounds born in New Zealand, and greyhounds imported from Australia coming into the industry every year. Also every year some greyhounds are adopted out of the industry and into the community by GAP, and other organisations like HUHA and Southern Cross Greyhound Adoption. Other greyhounds are kept for breeding purposes, and a few are kept by trainers as pets.
We know from this website how many greyhounds are named in NZ each year. The average is 784.
According to a 2012 Internal Review by the racing industry, the review authors concluded that 35% of greyhounds born didn't end up "named" for racing. Thus these numbers indicate that on average, 1206 greyhounds in total are born in New Zealand.
Bear in mind that this information is entirely sourced from the racing industry.
Upon inquiry to the Australian Governments Department of Agriculture, we were informed that for the four years 2010-2013, the average number of greyhounds exported from Australia to New Zealand is 299.
So we know that 1500 greyhounds being born and imported to New Zealand for purposes of racing on average, every year.
How many are rehomed?
Greyhounds As Pets claim to have have rehomed over 1200 greyhounds since being established by the racing industry in 2006.
Thats 150 per year on average, although early years were lower numbers, and recent years are higher numbers.
We don't have access to other organisations figures though we do understand HUHA has rehomed around 40 over the last few years and other orgnisations considerably less.
According to the WHK industry internal review, trainers are keeping on average, 93 greyhounds per year as pets, and are keeping 55 per year for breeding (what they do with these greyhounds after that is not known)
No matter how you look at it there are well in excess of 1000 greyhounds simply disappearing every year.