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Using Greyhounds to kill coyotes

My head’s spinning a little after reading today’s New York Times story about the “sport” of coyote hunting with Greyhounds. It’s the first I’ve heard of it, although my home state of Washington, along with Colorado, outlawed the practice last year.

 
What I learned is that this practice is not your traditional hunting with dogs. They aren’t retrieving birds shot by a hunter or even cornering live animals to be dispatched by a human (not that I’m saying I love these options either). No, this hunt is dog-on-dog killing. The human hunter drives the dogs to the coyotes and tends the dogs’ injuries (coyote bites, broken bones, barbwire cuts among them) after the fact—or, in some cases, reportedly leaves them for dead. As Miranda Wecker, the chairwoman of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, told The Times, “This was dogs ripping apart other dogs. Thinking about it that way, it became very close to dogfighting.”
 
Once you read about the cruelty of the sport—for both hunter and hunted—it seems impossible that this is legal anywhere. I’m guessing it’s been a relatively under-the-radar practice in rural communities that frown on government intervention in many forms. But the high beams of The New York Times will hopefully change all that.
 
Watch a video slideshow with an interview with John Hardzog, a cattle rancher who uses Greyhounds to hunt coyotes.
 

 

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Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom.

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