SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A Skechers ad that is set to run on Super Bowl Sunday has drawn the ire of a national greyhound dog advocacy group, with local members asking consumers to protest the shoe company until the ad is pulled.

The ad in question features a French Bulldog named Mr. Quiggly, who is about to race a group of greyhounds.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Ashley Westfall has adopted two former greyhound racers and volunteers with the advocacy group Grey2kUSA, which is calling for the boycott.

“They paint it as a humorous ad. But there’s nothing funny about greyhound racing,” she said. “There’s nothing funny about cruelty to animals.”

Westfall was one of the volunteers passing out flyers in front of the Skechers Union Square store this weekend.

She said it was especially disappointing that the ad was shot at Tucson Greyhound Park, which is notorious for being one of the worst tracks in the country, with 300 documented injuries to dogs between 2007 and 2009.

“They live in cages that are barely big enough for them to stand up and turn around in,” said Westfall. “They’re fed 4-D meat, which is the meat of downed and diseased animals. It’s not fit for consumption.”

Skechers said no animals were mistreated in the advertisement and the company would never support cruelty to animals in any way.

Union Square store employees passed out Mr. Quiggly buttons while the greyhound advocates were there.

Westfall said nationwide, 115,000 people have signed a petition promising not to buy Skechers products until the ad is pulled.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

Comments (86)
  1. LD says:

    How do I sign the petition? Put it online let people sign it.

    1. s.f. peaches says:

      You can probably find it through a search engine. Just enter an appropriate keyword, then try a different keyword if that doesn’t work.

    2. Christopher says:

      Frist you MUST understand that anyone who Signs a petition ONLINE it means nothing. They are not valid unless you physicaly sign it and put your address on it. Then it has to be verifiyed by the angency who received it.
      Second there is dog racing ONLY because people want dog racing. If the people did not want dog racing no one would go.
      Third If you are SO bunched up about the treatment of the dog of racing then support the dog racing commissions in stoping the abuse.

    3. Margaret Meighan says:

      Go to and please sign. Skechers says no animals were hurt during the filming, but these dogs are mistreated daily being keeped in cages 23 hrs a day in the dark fed rotten food and if they don’t race great they are killed, shot ,decapitated or staved to death will they reproduce, and skechers says they do not support animal cruelty.

      1. FRED KLAAR says:

        What is wrong with you. You want to compare a commercial to animal cruelity.Well then lets compare all commercials.30000 people die in car accidents ever year SHOULD WE PULL ALL AUTO ADS….. Alcoholism, drunk driving SHOULD WE PULL ALL BEER ADS………..Approximately 33% of adults are obese.Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.SHOULD WE PULL SNACK FOOD AND SODA ADS……. How about football is dangerous sport where many get hurt.SHOULD WE PULL THE SUPERBOWL OFF THE AIR……I think i will boycot grey2k for being idiotic.

      2. Eric Jackson says:

        Fred, the issue isn’t cruelty in the commercial, but cruelty in the greyhound racing industry and specifically at the location where this commercial was filmed.

  2. Sombra Negra says:

    I going to go and buy a COUPLE of pairs of Skechers today,, just to make my counterpoint. I’m so sick of every little advocacy group out there getting offended for every little thing you can think of. My God,I would NEVER own a business in THIS country. Every ad, every product has to be sooo PC. Man, I am so sick of this American society.

    1. s.f. peaches says:

      I take it you’re not a Greyhound. Or a child working in an overseas factory. There are reasons these groups investigate and register complaints. It’s because people who operate businesses can’t always be trusted to respect people — and animals — who are vulnerable.

      1. loconiner says:

        what i dont know dont hurt me

    2. PWB says:

      I could not agree with you more. Well said. I too am so sick of people so bored with their lives that all they do is spend their time trying to make other peoples lives miserable. Get a life advocacy groups.

      1. Margaret Meighan says:

        I work hard and really don’t have alot of time on my hands but I do have 3 Greyhounds I have adopted over the last 4 years and they are big couch potatoes and love uncondishonally. But this is a Big deal for I have seen the damage first hand. Say what you want you have that right, and I am sorry you are a heartless miserable person… not taking the time to get all the facts.

    3. Toby says:

      You ever buy Sketchers before this? And you know what you can do if you’re sooo tired of this society.

    4. Eric Jackson says:

      Sombra, feel free to emigrate. Since this is the United States, you have that right.

    5. Margaret Meighan says:

      Do you have any animals or kids I hope not because until you know the facts you should not open yyour mouth, I hope you do not reproduce because you are a heartless SOB

    6. Me says:

      Hey Sombra, you are Sick of the American society……well, GET OUT…………This reminds me of a saying when I was younger….”Don’t let the door hit ya, where the Good Lord split ya”…..

    7. TouchyFeeliySux says:

      Yup…2 paris for me too…You have to love the American Society…Best county in the world…Don’t let a few loud mouths in SF dictate your way of life.

    8. Chuck says:

      Do us a favor and try to sneak into Mexico illegallly so we can see how the Mexican government treats you.

  3. John says:

    Laughable. I’m looking forward to the ad and I’ll be buying a pair of Sketchers today! Some just have too much worthless time on their hands.

    1. s,f, peaches says:

      Personally, I’ll boycott the shoes, since I’ve already signed the petition. I find your position on this detestable, but we all have a right to freedom of expression. If the shoes are out there, you have a right to buy them.

    2. TouchyFeeliySux says:

      The whole SF city is LAUGHABLE….The “news” channels contain nothing but boycott this and boycott that….

  4. WQA says:

    Attempting to protect those who cannot protect themselves, surely a waste of time and funny (I’m being sarcastic). People like this disgust me.

    1. s.f. peaches says:

      I’m glad you included the message in parentheses. At first, your comment was kind of scary.

      1. georgia peach says:

        WoW, you have A LOT of time on your hands. Go out and enjoy some fresh air. Have your dog take you for a walk!

  5. jane says:

    How stupid are they? There have been greyhound rescue groups around for
    years – rescuing abused racing greyhounds who are abandoned when they can’t
    run anymore—-doesn’t this shoe company READ anything besides their own

  6. hgartland says:

    I think that it’s great for Ms. Westfall to be quoted even though her facts aren’t correct. If half of those “sound bites” were true she wouldn’t have to protest since the dogs wouldn’t be capable of running.

    Please check ALL available resources before believing what you read in the paper.


    1. hgartland says:

      P.S Does it count as boycotting if I can’t afford the shoes anyway?

  7. Ashley says:

    If you don’t believe that greyhounds are mistreated, Google Ronnie Williams, Ebro dog track and find out why he is in prison for 5 years. Greyhounds are routinely mistreated and racing should be banned in all states.

    We appreciate your support.

    1. hgartland says:

      Yes maam, Ronnie was notorious and should do more time, however, he is a rarity. Useing him as the example is like saying every NFL player mistreats dogs because Michael Vick did.

  8. Robert Gross says:

    Keep in mind that Greyhound racing is closely regulated by state racing commissions. Greyhounds are well cared for during their racing careers, which is why they make such wonderful pets.. Grey2k makes false claims about Greyhound racing. They are a radical animal rights group (e.g. PETA / HSUS). Their president and executive director take a salary from Grey2k equaling nearly 30% of total donations.

    1. Eric Jackson says:

      Much of the regulation of greyhound racing is focused on the money involved, not the actual welfare of the dogs. At the end of the day, the greyhounds are locked in small cages for 20 and more hours per day. They are injured, maimed, and killed on the tracks. And for far too many, the end of their career means the end of their life.

      Robert is just upset because GREY2K USA keeps pointing out how cruel his industry is, and he has nothing to refute the facts, so he makes personal attacks and calls us radicals. The facts are the facts, Robert, and I look forward to your industry being shut down.

      1. Robert Gross says:

        The Greyhound industry continues to counter the lies and misrepresentations of Grey2k. Grey2k has no facts to back up their claims. Grey2k claims that injuries are an issue. We use their statistics to prove that the injury rate is only 0.03%. That is a fact backed up by injury reports that Grey2k published on their website. They claim that the kennels Greyhounds live in are small. We publish photos and dimensions to prove that they are spacious and comfortable. They make a baseless claim that Greyhounds are kenneled “for 20 and more hours per day”. That is a lie. Greyhounds make wonderful pets, and live long healthy lives (generally 12 – 14 years) because of the great care they receive while racing. Grey2k doesn’t care about facts. They only care about their radical animal rights agenda and, of course, your monetary donation to their “cause”.

      2. Eric Jackson says:

        The dimensions provided by the Greyhound Racing Council, when compared to the size range of greyhounds, make it clear that the cages are too small. Recently we have received some large females who also do not fit comfortable in the cages.

        The 20+ hours per day is based on the industry’s own public comments. The dogs are turned out three to four times a day for up to one hour at a time. That leaves at least 20 hours per day when they are caged.

        Greyhounds make wonderful pets…when they get that chance. They live long lives of 12 to 14 years, if they’re not killed because they’re no longer profitable. Their potential lifespan makes it all the more disturbing that dogs are put down as young as 1-1/2 years of age because they won’t race. Or dogs are put down after receiving non-life threatening, but career-ending injuries.

        GREY2K USA cares about the dogs. The greyhound racing industry cares about how much money they can suck off the backs of the dogs. The racing industry definition of love involves dollar signs. And this is what Skechers have aligned themselves with.

    2. Kitty says:

      “Greyhound racing is closely regulated by state racing commissions.”
      Oh yes, because the government ALWAYS has the best interests of the dogs, not the revenue-providing business, at heart, right? Riiight. Can you site your source where you learned greyhounds are well-cared for? Have you BEEN to the tracks, seen the kennels, watched the treatment with your own eyes? Not all of them are as bad as the Tuscon track, of course. The owner of the Phoenix track, before it closed, tried to get his retired racers adopted out with Greyhound Adoption Center. But most dogs won’t be so lucky. Grey2k is not radical; would they seriously be trying to end greyhound racing if it weren’t a real problem? It’s not like they’re a bunch of rich, bored housewives looking for a cause, so they make one up. Grey2k and all the greyhound advocacy groups I know of and work with are made up of average, middle-class people trying to rescue these loving and gentle animals. That’s all.

      1. Robert Gross says:

        Yes Kitty, I have been to the tracks. For more than 30 years I’ve seen the racing kennels and breeding farms. I’ve seen the stellar care these fine animals receive. There is no incentive whatsoever for a person in the Greyhound industry to abuse their dogs. Would an abused dog be a successful athlete? Not likely.

      2. Eric Jackson says:

        But, Robert, you won’t answer questions about how many dogs are actually adopted out, how many are killed at the end of their careers, or anything else that reflects a harsh light on your industry. The truth won’t set you free, it will put your industry out of business.

        The care of the dogs provided by the industry commonly meets the definition of abuse as understood by many lay-people. In many jurisdictions, treating your pet like a racing greyhound would result in criminal charges.

  9. Jake says:

    Do you really think that 115,000 of you are actually going to affect business from sketchers when more than half of you have probably never touched the Sketchers brand in your life? It’s as if guys were to protest against tampons. IT’S POINTLESS because it won’t affect their business. There are 311 million people in the United States PLUS all of the others that buy Sketchers around the world. So your little 115,000 people petition is a joke. JUST LAUGH AT THE AD, AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE.

  10. Christine Dorchak says:

    It is unconscionable that Skechers would shoot an ad at Tucson Greyhound Park, one of the most notorious dog tracks in the country. Get the facts here:

    This is what Skechers is glamorizing, dogs breaking their legs, their backs, suffering paralysis, seizures and more.

    It is time for Skechers to stand up for the real underdogs, the long-suffering greyhounds who live and die at Tucson Greyhound Park each year.

    1. Robert Gross says:

      The injury rate based on Christine’s website is 0.03% for Tucson Greyhound Park. Greyhounds are athletes. Unfortunately, athletes do suffer injures. The injuries she mentions are extremely rare. Keep in mind that Christine and her husband Carey receive salary and compensation of more than $80,000 per year from donations made to Grey2k.

      1. Eric Jackson says:

        But your math is kind of fuzzy, Robert. You see, you have to count the same hounds again and again to arrive at that low number. You like to talk about “starts”m but there are eight dogs in a race, so that’s eight starts. There are, say, 15 races on a card, so that’s 120 starts. And there are three, maybe four, minimum cards a week, so that’s getting close to 500 starts in one week. Pretty soon it’s looking to an outsider that there are a lot of injuries, and they’re not infrequent.

        Meanwhile, every injury is significant to the greyhound suffering it. For instance, look at what happened to Crystal:

      2. Robert Gross says:

        Not fuzzy at all. Based on the injury reports obtained by Grey2k, the probability of a Greyhound being injured in a race is one-third of one percent. That is a statistical fact. You may not like it, but it is what it is. You are correct that every injury is very significant. That is why race tracks work very hard to keep the track surface in tip-top condition. The safety of our Greyhounds is second to none.

  11. Go Skechers says:

    Worry about the dogs that are dieing or the weight of the Greyhound dogs, not on a advertisement. I will keep buying Skechers! There is nothing wrong about the ad! **** Go Skechers !!!!

  12. Robert Gross says:

    Jackson – You’ve been told time and time again. More than 90% of all retired Greyhounds are provided to approved adoption groups. The rest are returned to the farm for breeding purposes or returned to their registered owner. You keep asking for a number, but that’s an unknown. Much like asking how many purebred Pomeranian’s are killed each year. There’s no way to know.

    Please elaborate on the industry care that would constitute animal abuse. Specifics please.

    1. Robert Gross says:

      Notice the silence when you answer their questions? They’re like children with their fingers plugging their ears chanting “nanananna… I don’t hear you … nanananana”

    2. Eric Jackson says:

      If you don’t get a reply within three hours you start throwing out childish remarks? Very mature, Gross, very mature. Not surprising though.

    3. Eric Jackson says:

      With regards to animal abuse, keeping a greyhound in the conditions of a racing kennel would violate animal abuse statues in Albuquerque. In other words, keeping a greyhound in a small cage for 20 or more hours per day is animal abuse in the eyes of the law here.

      1. Robert Gross says:

        I guess we’re okay then. Because Greyhounds are not kept in “small cages”, and they’re not in a “cage” of any kind. They’re in a kennel for, perhaps, 16 – 18 hours a day.

      2. Eric Jackson says:

        No, Robert, look at your own photos. Each greyhound is in an individual cage made of metal and/or wood. The cages are stacked two high inside a kennel building.

      3. Robert Gross says:

        Stay with the subject, Eric. I know it’s hard for you. Readers can see the photos on the allaboutgreyhounds web site. Eric needs to change the subject when he knows he can’t keep up. Nice try Eric. You may want to check with your handlers at Grey2k before you try this again. See you at the races.

      4. Eric Jackson says:

        Gross, you asked for a specific instance that would be animal abuse, you got one. That is on subject.

    4. Eric Jackson says:

      With regards to the numbers you have spouted off with, nobody, to my knowledge, is claiming 90% of Pomeranians are being adopted.

    5. Eric Jackson says:

      I think the actual number of greyhounds being put out for adoption is 35% with an additional 3% being returned to the farm for breeding, etc.

      1. Robert Gross says:

        Again, more numbers they’re pulling from thin air.

      2. Eric Jackson says:

        If you don’t think my numbers are accurate, then provide evidence of the correct numbers.

      3. Robert Gross says:

        Based on the number of Greyhounds bred and whelped and numbers from authorized Greyhound adoption groups, the figure is 90%. The remaining Greyhounds are returned to the farm for breeding purposes or returned to their registered owner. Because some radical animal rights group pulls a number out of thin air, with nothing to back it up, doesn’t make it fact.

      4. Eric Jackson says:

        Gross, I asked you to provide even a scintilla of proof that would indicate your numbers are more accurate than mine. Saying it ain’t so is not sufficient. Back up your claims. Based on the published numbers of whelpings, and the number of greyhounds I know have been passed to adoption agencies, I think my numbers are more accurate. Prove me wrong.

  13. Go Skechers says:

    PETA, HSUS, Grey2k, etc should focus on the providing the Good things instead of the Bad. For example it is very unhealthy for animals (of humans) to be skinny so they should feed the dogs more food where there bones are not showing instead of an ad showing the dog with shoes that is playing around by racing!

  14. Chudy Pies says:

    CBS do your homework!
    Grey2K is NOT a “local dog advocacy” group, unless you consider Massachusetts and Arizona as local and lobbying against gambling while abandoning dogs is dog advocacy.
    They collect money to spend on lobbying and personal expenses. Not one dime is spent on behalf of dogs.

    1. Eric Jackson says:

      Chudy, the protest was held by local greyhound advocates and GREY2K USA supporters.

  15. Tony says:

    Its funny people will be outrage and sign petitions for this but won’t do anything or say anything about our Hungry children, our poor people, our horrible society view and values! We need to wake up and first fix the problems that affect us and then we can take care of everything else. I’m not saying pets aren’t important or no one should speak for them lets lean how to take care of people first then we can fully focus on animals.

    1. Eric Jackson says:

      Tony, many people care passionate about a variety of subjects and work to better the world in many different ways. This is just one part of that concern.

  16. raymond says:

    wait a minute… so Sketchers cant show an ad about greyhounds racing… because it hurts them somehow…there is no cruelty in the ad whatsoever.. but they plan to boycott buying sketchers… hmm… so little children who work for 25 cents an hr to make them, does not matter… so children are not a priority to raise your voice to boycott… but god forbid you show a funny ad about dog racing…. and thats the straw that breaks the camels back…. way to go… im i dont wear em…but im going to buy some just because!!

    1. Robert Gross says:

      That’s the mindset with radical groups like PETA, Grey2k and HSUS.

  17. Tim Spence says:

    Grey2K is the real evil… typical Animal rights extremist who distort the truth with false and misleading statements

    1. Eric Jackson says:

      Speaking of false and misleading statements, check out what Tom Taylor (the CEO) had to say about Tucson Greyhound Park:

  18. Thomas says:

    How about horse racing? Why is it glorified and not cruelty to animals? These animal rights activists should be called “SELECTIVE” animal rights activists.

    1. Eric Jackson says:

      Actually, Thomas, we’re GREYHOUND advocates. The pro-racing side likes to refer to us, incorrectly, as “animal rights _____ ” (fill in your own insulting term). This discussion concerns a commercial shot at a greyhound racing track, featuring racing greyhounds. Horse racing is a matter for a different discussion.

    2. Robert Gross says:

      The Grey2k agenda is more along the lines of PETA. In fact, there president (Christine Dorchak) has been photographed participating in PETA protests. Grey2k is recognized as a radical animal rights group. 30% of the money donated to their “charity” go to salaries and benefits for their president and executive director. They choose to ignore facts provided to them by the racing industry. Instead, they choose to create / invent their own.

      1. Eric Jackson says:

        Have you come up with any evidence to dispute my adoption numbers yet?

  19. Christine Dorchak says:

    It seems that the defenders of dog racing want to talk about anything else but dog racing. I wonder why? The facts speak for themselves:

    1. Robert Gross says:

      Christine, you make it sound like the Greyhound industry denies there are injuries. Our problem is that you leave out the fact that the chance of a Greyhound being injured in a race is less than one-third of one percent. And most of those are not serious injuries. But I suppose if people realized how safe Greyhound racing is, you and your husband’s $80,000 per year gravy train may come to a halt.

      1. Eric Jackson says:

        But Gross, you keep racing the same dogs over and over, increasing the chances that each greyhound will be injured in a race. Look at what happened to Crystal B. Disco in Florida:

        And notice that the state form lists this incident as an animal welfare violation.

    2. Robert Gross says:

      Jackson, that’s kind of like saying that every time I cross the street my chance of being run over by a bus or street car increases. That’s not really the case. Each race is a separate event, and the probability of injury does not increase with each race.

      1. Eric Jackson says:

        By pointing out my mistake, you’ve put the lie to your own claim. Your industry likes to use “starts” as your metric, but as you pointed out yourself, the assumption is that each start is an independent event. But that’s not the case, is it? Greyhounds don’t run one at a time, they run in a pack of eight. That’s why “starts” is not an accurate metric. Thank you for proving yourself wrong.

      2. Robert Gross says:

        Injuries are not a statistical certainly, that’s where your logic is flawed.

      3. Eric Jackson says:

        I didn’t say they were a statistical certainty, just that your numbers are based on an invalid metric.

  20. Robert Gross says:

    Perhaps you did not read, or could not comprehend my previous statement that the Greyhound industry does not deny that injuries happen, even though they are very rare. Owners, breeders, trainers and handlers in any animal-related sport are heart-broken when one in their charge is injured. But it does happen. That is why Greyhound trainers work very hard to keep their animals in tip-top condition. And that is why race tracks employ people who’s only job is to ensure the racing surface is in as good a condition as possible. You will also note on page of the report you link to: At this time there is no evidence that trainer Kenneth Smith or Sanford Orlando Kennel Club has violated Florida State Statutes or PMW rules”.

    1. Eric Jackson says:

      Have you come up with any evidence to dispute my adoption numbers yet?

      Yes, injuries happen, but why? What research has been done to determine what conditions make a track safer or better? What about the resurfacing of Wheeling a few years ago. Didn’t they see a sudden jump in the number of injuries?

  21. Christine Dorchak says:

    GREY2K USA relies exclusively on the public record and this record shows that in the last two reported years at TGP, with a base population of 600 dogs, nearly 1,000 injuries were reported by track officials. In these same records, trainers complain repeatedly about the poor and rocky track surface.

    Simply put, as long as greyhound racing continues, greyhounds will suffer and sometimes die just so that someone can place a $2 bet on them. Is this what the defenders of dog racing would preserve?

    1. Robert Gross says:

      Christine, you sound like a broken record. Constantly repeating the same lies over and over will not make them true. People are beginning to see Grey$k for what it really is.

  22. Bob Just Bob says:

    Some people will do anything to get their name in the news. Sad there are so many pathetic people in the world. No one should abuse any animal but no one should go through life with a total lack of humor. It is not about the dog, it’s about your ability to create controversy. it is a way of life and sadly you don’t know any other way. I hope someday you will find happiness.

  23. Claire Sommers says:

    I have owned retired racers since 1998 and I am looking forward to seeing the Skechers ad. I am very happy that Skechers is including the magnificent Greyhound in their ad. I have been to the track to pick up retired racers, I have been to the puppy farm and seen the schooling races. I have not seen the neglect or mistreatment. I do wish the media would get input from both sides of the issue and not rely on the opinion of g2k.

  24. RefFan says:


  25. jay says:

    Was that before or after your alien abduction? Just sayin…

  26. LAB says:

    Robert “GROSS” – the guy’s name says it a lll….

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