Posted on: February 9, 2022, 01:54h.
Last updated on: February 9, 2022, 02:09h.
A Colorado greyhound breeder who has admitted using the cruel and illegal practice of live-lure training is scheduled to race dogs in Arkansas and West Virginia this week, The Denver Post reports.
A greyhound is led to the starting block at Southland Casino Racing in Arkansas. The track will feature dogs trained by John Lashmet this week. (Image: Joe Rondone/Commercial Appeal)
John Lashmet is one of two licensed breeders remaining in Colorado. The state banned greyhound racing in 2014, but still allows breeders to train dogs.
In December, Lashmet admitted to the Colorado Division of Racing Events (DoRE) that videos filmed by greyhound advocacy organization Grey2K USA showed him live-lure training with rabbits on his farm.
Mauled and Killed
The practice, also known as “jacking” or “blooding,” involves young greyhounds being baited with live animals – usually rabbits, as in this case, but sometimes piglets.
Some breeders believe letting dogs maul and kill these animals will enhance their chase instincts. The theory is that this will make them run faster when confronted with a mechanical lure at the tracks.
The video taken by Grey2K USA activists records 15 young greyhounds being encouraged to chase, pin, and maul their prey during the course of an hour.
Live-lure training is prohibited by the dog racing industry, and is illegal in Colorado. It is now punishable as a federal crime under the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (2019).
Lashmet Kennels is a long-standing and successful operation. In 2019, its dog “LK’s Crush N It” was the national win leader.
Free to Race
According to The Post, Lashmet allowed his Colorado license to lapse three weeks after his admission to the DoRE. Racing regulators in West Virginia and Arkansas said this week they had received documents from the agency and were investigating the matter.
Pending the conclusion of that investigation, Lashmet is free to race dogs in those states, where he has eight dogs running this week.
Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis is the only greyhound track left in Arkansas. In West Virginia, there are two, Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack and Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes.
With Iowa, these are the only states in the country that still permit commercial greyhound racing and betting. Arkansas and Iowa have resolved to phase out races at the end of this year.
“[Lashmet] needs to be out of the greyhound industry,” Corey Theil, head of Grey2K USA told The Post. “That’s the bottom line.
“People will bet on dogs that were very likely live-lured trained, regulators know were likely live-lured trained, and nothing is being done,” he added. “And that’s outrageous. This is an incredibly cruel activity that should not be allowed in any way, shape, or form.”