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Features February 2019 Issue

Who’s Going to Take the Greyhounds No Longer Racing in Florida?

© mark warr | Bigstock

This 3-year-old can finally retire.

With the state of Florida banning greyhound racing by the end of 2020 in a historic November vote, that means only six dog tracks will be left in a smattering of other states: Arkansas, Alabama, Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia. It’s a boon for the greyhounds, as dog racing is not a sport. It’s a gambling industry that treats the dogs like dice, which is to say, as if they weren’t sentient beings. They’re kept in small cages up to 23 hours a day, with their welfare consistently coming after earnings; a dog dies on the track every three days in Florida alone.

Many people want to step up and adopt one of the 3,700 greyhounds that will be phased off the Florida tracks as well as those who have been bred to race but never made it to the starting gate. But how? The president and general counsel of GREY2K USA Worldwide, Christine Dorchak, who authored the ballot question for Floridians, says you can contact her organization at grey2kusa.org or either of the two largest greyhound adoption organizations in the country: the National Greyhound Adoption Program on the East Coast (ngap.org) or the Greyhound Adoption Center of California (houndsavers.org).

Greyhounds—soulful, gentle dogs—make wonderful pets. Even apartment dwellers enjoy them because, although it’s counterintuitive, they don’t require a lot of exercise.

Comments (3)

I voted against the constitution change because there was no provision made for the greyhounds welfare after the 2020 date. rather it could have required owners and race tracks to make provisions to protect what has been a lucrative business for them.

Posted by: hobo37 | January 23, 2019 6:51 PM    Report this comment

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Did I read correctly, that 3,700 currently-racing dogs in Florida will need homes?...

No, I don't agree that there are nearly 4K adoptive homes for "retired" racers in 2019, in addition to the millions of other dogs of all breeds & mixes who need homes, this year & every year, in all 50 states. We still euthanize between 3 & 5 million surplus dogs & cats annually, as a nation, a massive improvement over killing 15 million every year for over a decade, but still far too many.

Sadly, the number of people who look for dogs to adopt is not conveniently elastic - it won't grow on demand. // Perhaps the people who pushed for this legislation could buy land, build state-of-the-art shelters to house ex-racers in compatible pairs, trios, & quads, & pay to staff these shelters - for the dogs' expected decade to possibly 15 or 16 year lifespans, with vet care, volunteers, & an ongoing placement program to recruit adopters?
Plus of course, there would be property taxes, maintenance costs, groundskeeping staff, utilities, & so on.

I look forward to a national crowdsourcing campaign to raise the needed monies. This will be a titanic effort - and good on you, for breaking new ground in sheltering, fostering, & the lifelong care of homeless dogs.

- Terry Pride, CVA, member Truly Dog-Friendly

Posted by: LeashedForLife | January 22, 2019 8:55 AM    Report this comment

I'm so glad that Florida is banning dog racing. I live in West Virginia and I'm hoping the same comes about here. I'm sure there are enough good people in this country to adopt them and give them the lives they deserve.

Posted by: Small Change | January 21, 2019 11:27 AM    Report this comment

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