There’s a good chance that greyhound adoption groups will soon have their hands full in Florida now that the state has passed Amendment 13, a constitutional amendment scheduled to end dog racing by 2020. This is certainly excellent news. Dog racing is an exceptionally cruel sport that has been banned in 40 other states. However, this also means thousands of greyhounds will need homes, according to Kate MacFall, the Florida State Director of the Humane Society.
Racing Greyhounds Can Finally Rest
All of the dogs will need homes within the next 26 months, she said.
“We know that when this was passed in other states, the adoption groups have stepped up. We already know they are mobilizing, ready to absorb the dogs and we are looking forward to assisting in whatever way possible,” MacFall said. “And we always encourage pet adoption, but certainly now is a wonderful time to adopt a greyhound.”
The good news here is that the amendment won by a wide margin, USA Today notes. Statewide, nearly all the votes have been counted, with about 5.3 million voters (69 percent) voting for the amendment, and 2.4 million (31 percent) voting against it. One has to wonder how some voters could be so hard-hearted.
These poor dogs are forced to spend nearly their entire lives in cages. And what’s with the muzzles? They can’t hurt each other or anyone else in these cages!
The horrible lives these captive greyhounds are forced to live upset a number of celebrities who were more than happy to add their names to a letter urging people to vote yes on the proposition, TheAnimalRescueSite reports. As part of Protect Dogs-Yes On 13, celebrities Ellen DeGeneres, Pierce Brosnan, Uzo Aduba, Owen Wilson, and scores of others signed the letter. But it’s not just celebrities who were on board with this grassroots organization. Lots of elected officials, including Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott supported the amendment. So did businesses, civic organizations, veterinarians, animal welfare organizations and shelters. And 15 Florida newspapers were also on board.
“Greyhound racing involves substantial cruelty, with a dog dying on a Florida track every three days,” Kitty Block, acting CEO and president of the Humane Society of The United States said in the letter. “We are grateful that so many public figures are keeping this issue in front of voters.”
How cruel is greyhound racing?
Let’s look at the story of Tato, above. Tato was only 19 months old when she died after being given anabolic steroids. In her short life, she ran 132 races. On the day she died, she’d run a practice race which she wasn’t able to finish. So her trainer put her in a greyhound hauling truck and left her alone. She received no veterinary care. When he returned hours later, he found this beautiful dog had died all by herself in the truck.
Dogs are dosed with illicit drugs
According to a press release from the HSUS, doping is common in dog racing. Over the past decade, more than 400 greyhounds have tested positive for cocaine, lidocaine, the industrial solvent DMSO, and the opiates oxycodone and oxymorphone.
Racing greyhounds lead short, brutal lives
In 2013, the state began tracking greyhound deaths. At least 493 dogs have died at these racetracks. It’s estimated that one greyhound dies at a racetrack every three days. What’s especially upsetting is that at least 94 percent of these dogs were three years old or younger. Seminole County has reported 87 greyhound injuries since May 2017, with 64 of those including broken bones. And five dogs have died during this time.
The passage of this amendment has dealt a serious blow to the dog racing industry. And that’s good news. Animals didn’t evolve to become entertainment or gambling tools, so if this industry bites the dust there will be at least a little bit less animal cruelty in the world.
You can watch the good news unfold in this video.