Florida Banned Greyhound Racing - Now What?


Florida voters just supported Protect Dogs - Yes on 13 and banned dog racing in their state, an uncustomarily progressive move. For dogs who've suffered and/or died in this activity, it's a #GoodThing.

The dog racing industry itself is still in the shock-and-outrage phase. In a statement posted on its website after the election, Jim Gartland, executive director of the National Greyhound Association (NGA) said voters had been misled on Proposition 13, and he worried about a "radical animal rights agenda" descending on the good citizens of the Sunshine State.

Well, Floridian canines of the greyhound persuasion have been living their humans' racing agenda since at least 1922 when the first track was built outside Humbuggus (nope, I'm not making that up), so it seems fair that the dogs see a little karma in action.

Either way you lean, the reality is:
  • LOTS of dogs will need safe, stable foster homes quickly, and
  • LOTS of animal welfare orgs will scramble for a piece of this pie, whether or not they truly work with Florida greyhounds directly.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, national animal welfare agencies, like Grey2K USA, as well as the resident Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando have offered to care for and disperse these dogs throughout our national rescue network, but the NGA has not commented on accepting help. I'm not sure why they wouldn't want assistance, but probably because politics.

Some locals say that only orgs on a list endorsed by the NGA will receive Florida greyhounds. One volunteer at a Tampa-based greyhound rescue seemed to confirm this statement by throwing deep shade at any org who supported the ban saying, "Anti-racing [rescue] groups will never see another greyhound in their lives."

So, where does that leave well-meaning pet enthusiasts who want to help those lightning-fast, long-legged striders end up in good homes? Caveat emptor. If you plan to donate to make the lives of Florida greyhounds easier, don't fall for every crowdfunding campaign or social media appeal scrolling in front of your eyeballs. Be leery of those pics of sad-eyed "greys" on websites and in emails.

Make sure your money is going to the orgs who're really caring for Florida greyhounds. Let's not require them to run for their supper ever again.

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