Posted at: 01/28/2013 2:40 PM
Updated at: 01/29/2013 1:28 PM
By: Heather Mills, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Dog racing is a hot-button issue for many. While there isn't any racing here in New Mexico, there are Greyhound farms and racetracks in neighboring states.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 spoke with one woman who's started a non-profit with the hopes of adopting these animals to loving families.
You might not know it from his docile demeanor, but Lovie is an accomplished race dog.
Judy Paulsen rescued this 5-year-old Greyhound. Just like so many others, he's looking for a forever home.
She's made it her mission to see these animals find happiness.
"Between the deaths of Greyhounds, just the ones that are put down because they're no longer winning money and the injury rate is so high. There's a lot of suffering in the Greyhound racing industry," said Paulsen.
She started Greyhound Companions of New Mexico more than 20 years ago. She says she was out buying pet food when she saw an article on the dogs.
"The flyer talked about tens of thousands of Greyhounds being killed every year and I had no idea they did that.
So, she says she hit the track to see for herself and immediately adopted two Greyhounds.
"The more I got into it, the more I realized I wanted to save as many Greyhounds as I could."'
But it's not easy. Once Paulsen rescues the dogs, she says they have to be trained to be around humans. They have to learn how to be just a pet. Up until they meet Paulsen, they've lived a bleak existence.
"At the track, it's strictly business. They're working dogs," Paulsen said. "They've been kept in crates up to 23 hours a day at the track." For Paulsen, saving these dogs is just part of her passion. The other, ending racing.
"I'm not going to quit until all the tracks are gone," Paulsen said. However, there are two very different schools of thought regarding Greyhound racing.
We also spoke with Candy Beck of the New Mexico Greyhound Connection.
She says she's seen the tracks herself and didn't find any abuse or neglect. She added that the dogs are turned out several times a day and they're no longer breeding as many as they used to. She says there's a 90 percent adoption rate.