Dogsters, we have written about the upcoming Skechers commercial, and wondered how you feel about it, since, while it’s very cute, it’s shot at a greyhound racetrack notorious for bad conditions for its dogs. Because of this, we got a peek at a letter that a rescued greyhound from that very same racetrack wrote to Quiggly, the adorable star of the commercial. We’re running it below. If Quiggly writes back, we will post his response as well.
Hello, Mr. Quiggly,
Lets talk about a place weve both been: Tucson Greyhound Park (TGP). You were there filming a Super Bowl commercial for Skechers; I lived there most of my life.
Im one of those tall, thin dogs â€” a greyhound â€” like the ones you race against in the commercial. You can call me Hope. It isnt the name I was known by at the track because, yes, things were bad, and I dont want them to bring me back there.
I hear that your race at Tucson Greyhound Park is supposed to be amusing. I raced more than 130 times at TGP, and I have a hard time finding humor in a single one of them. I just couldnt do it anymore, the running, pounding, colliding. I had to race when it was over 100 degrees outside, sometimes hotter. But, I was one of the lucky ones. I survived. I didnt break my leg or shoulder or back like some greyhounds do.
You probably didnt get a tour while you were there, so lets clear up one thing: Tucson Greyhound Park isnt really a park.
I had to live in a kennel compound behind the track. Dozens of other dogs were there, too, but we couldnt get to know each other because we were all in our own small cages. We had to lie down on carpet scraps or shredded paper, and no one ever gave us toys to play with.
A couple times a day, they let me relieve myself inside a small pen â€” but many times, I just had to soil my cage because they took so long to come.
And the rotten food we were fed smelled funny, but I was so hungry I ate it.
If we met now, you probably wouldnt think we had very different lives. I found a loving home with other greyhounds and wonderful people who adopted me. We have soft beds, nutritious food, and receive unlimited love and tenderness. Soon I will be 4 years old.
But even though I get the star treatment from my family now, I still have health problems.
At the track, female greyhounds like me are regularly injected with steroids to make sure we dont go into heat. You see, it is about the money. When females are in heat, we cannot race. If we cannot race, we do not make money for the people who own us or operate the kennel or the track.
This is kind of embarrassing, but the steroids cause genital abnormalities, and I suffer urinary infections and may need surgery.
You and I may both be loved pets now, but this is nothing like the life youve had, eh, Quiggles? May I call you Quiggles?
My new mom is one of the many people who supported an ordinance that passed which was supposed to stop those steroid injections, and that stinking rotten food, and ensure that greyhounds at TGP wouldnt have to spend 20 hours a day in a cage. But that ordinance isnt being obeyed, so life at those kennels is still miserable for the hundreds of unlucky dogs I left behind. In fact, you werent far from them when you stood at the track wearing your little Skechers shoes.
I bet they didnt tell you any of this when you went to film the Skechers commercial. It was probably all treats and pats and running shoes for you. But, really, Quiggles, there is nothing amusing about greyhound racing.
Now that you know, wont you help your fellow dogs and ask Skechers not to air the ad?