NBC plans to air a Super Bowl commercial that uses greyhound racing to show how fast Skechers' new sneakers are. But an undercover investigation has revealed that the Arizona track that serves as a backdrop for the commercial is notorious for extreme animal cruelty.
And with over 100 million viewers expected for Super Bowl XLVI, animal advocates fear the ad will effectively whitewash an industry so dependent on animal cruelty that it's outlawed in 38 states.
When it learned Skechers was filming an ad at the Tuscon Greyhound Park, GREY2K USA wanted to draw attention to that specific track's terrible record of mistreating greyhounds. Through its undercover investigation, the group had already found that the track was:
muzzling greyhounds while they're warehoused in dark, cramped kennels;
providing inadequate exercise out of doors;
feeding dogs raw meat from diseased animals and animals dead before slaughter;
running dogs in dangerous conditions; and
ignoring a disturbing frequency (every 3-4 days) of serious injuries like fractured skulls, broken bones, dislocations and muscle tears.
Then, when GREY2K USA found out the ad was planned to air during the Super Bowl and had some of the biggest names in sports behind it, it became clear this issue was much bigger than just one track in Tuscon. Thousands of dogs each year suffer broken legs, cardiac arrest, spinal cord paralysis and broken necks in the dog racing industry. When the dogs are no longer profitable, they're killed.
Super Bowl ads are the most sought after slots on the air all year, NBC wouldn’t have any trouble replacing Skechers' ad with another. All that's needed is enough of a public outcry to get the broadcaster to drop Skechers’ ad promoting dog cruelty.
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