As crucial Florida greyhound vote looms, Ellen DeGeneres, Pierce Brosnan and Owen Wilson support Amendment 13

By on October 24, 2018 with 45 Comments

Greyhound racing is a bleak and sordid enterprise for the animals. The dogs are confined 20-23 hours a day in stacked, warehouse-style metal cages barely large enough for them to turn around in, and death rates on the tracks are high. In Florida alone, one dog, on an average, dies every three days on the racetrack.

But hope is at hand. On Nov. 6, the voters of Florida, the largest remaining bastion of this “sport” in the United States, will consider a constitutional amendment that would phase out greyhound racing in the state by 2020. Today, a chorus of 30 celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres, Pierce Brosnan, Slash and Owen Wilson, have added their voices to those already speaking out, urging a “yes” vote on the constitutional amendment.

“A victory on Amendment 13 will be a significant blow to the industry and will help bring an end to this cruel practice in this country,” says the letter whose signatories include Uzo Aduba, Wilmer Valderrama, Rainn Wilson, Minka Kelly, Scott Eastwood and Kristin Bauer.

We, along with our allies at GREY2K USA Worldwide, the Doris Day Animal League and others, have been working hard to push this amendment across the finish line, generating broad, bipartisan support from government, business leaders, civic organizations, animal welfare organizations, local animal shelters and veterinarians in Florida.

But as Election Day approaches, opponents of this measure, including the American Kennel Club, the NRA and the Farm Bureau, have ramped up their efforts to defeat it, using baseless and deceptive tactics to attempt to mobilize farmers, ranchers and gun owners across the state against Amendment 13, although it has nothing to do with their industries or interests. With a 60 percent majority needed to approve the measure, we’ll need every last voter on our side.

To highlight the industry’s cruelties, we are also releasing today an undercover video shot at Palm Beach Kennel Club in April that shows disturbing glimpses into the lives of the greyhounds. The dogs — muzzled 95 percent of the time — can be seen hyperventilating inside the stacked cages where they remain most of the day, before they are released only to make a mad dash around the racetrack in chase of a mechanical lure. This is no way to treat these beautiful animals.

There are now approximately 8,000 greyhounds in Florida’s racing industry, and since the state began tracking greyhound deaths in 2013, 493 dogs have died on its tracks. Ninety-four percent of these dogs were three years old or younger. In a single county, Seminole, since May 2017, 87 greyhound injuries have been reported, including 64 greyhounds who suffered broken bones and five dogs who died.

In addition to these critical threats to animal welfare, there is the sad issue of doping in the greyhound racing industry. Over the past decade there have been more than 400 greyhound drug positives at Florida tracks, including 73 greyhound cocaine positives, and positive results for novocaine, lidocaine, industrial solvent DMSO, and opiates oxycodone and oxymorphone.

Greyhound racing is a dying enterprise, already illegal in 40 states, and where it does exist, the dogs mostly run in front of empty or near-empty bleachers. Ending it in Florida, home to 11 of the remaining 17 greyhound racing tracks in the United States, would all but guarantee the end of this industry in the United States. Let’s strike a death blow to this enterprise built on the suffering of animals.

Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

Subscribe to the Blog

Enter your email address below to receive updates each time we publish new content.


Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Tracey Comrie says:

    Please end greyhound racing.
    If humans died when racing, It would be banned. And why? Greyhounds deserve to live as much as humans do.

    • Barb says:

      Adults and children do die in sports – football, car racing, hockey , skydiving – and those sports aren’t outlawed. The percentage of greyhounds that die in racing is far lower than those pets that die living in homes. If you’ve read this far, here’s what you really need to think about before voting: the dogs are VERY well cared for and loved by the track people as it makes little to no sense to have an unhappy, mistreated dog trying to race. MORE importantly though, IF YOU REALLY CARE about the greyhounds’ welfare, you need to know there will be 8000+ dogs needing homes over the next 18 months. There are no provisions in the amendment for this phase out. Adoption goups I have worked with to place greyhounds after the tracks in Wisconsin closed tookover two years to place 700 dogs. By voting yes for amendment 13, you are setting up many of this hounds for placement in inappropriate homes as well as potential euthanasia when their owners can’t afford them due to lack of racing funds and foster homes and adoption groups are fulled to capacity. PLEASE, PLEASE THINK about the hoinds and the ramifications of a yes vote.

      • Angel says:

        Barb, you need to educate yourself promptly.

        Let’s start with your asinine comment of how people hurt themselves in sport every day. People CHOOSE to be play these sports. The dogs don’t. Athletes live in nice houses, some professional ones are worth millions of dollars and get top medical care when they are sick. Greyhounds live in small cages and are promptly put down when they are no longer of use, their ears removed so that the tattoo cannot be traced back to breeders and handlers. They are not shown affection or even know how to dog.

        There are groups that work with the public to help rehome these dogs. My family had one and I work closely with one of these group, so as far your “years” to place these dogs, you are either lying or working with the wrong groups. Shame on you for spreading likes about the rescue of these amazing and gentle dogs.

        Don’t defend this sport; it’s cruel and heinous. There is a reason it’s banned on 40 states.

        • Bren Sutphin says:

          100% agree with you, Angel. Vote YES on Amendment 13!

        • Cat Landess says:

          U r correct. I believe that she’s been misinformed or plain lied to. Easily done by money grubbing psychso who have no empathy for living creatures.( Your post has a tiny typeo btw just fyi, u said ” Spreading LIKES, instead of lies..” I’m emotional about this fight as MI is a state that HAS greyhound rescue & I KNOW some of them will end up here! I’d volunteer to drive to FL just to get them rehomed in a minute! Re: the lady saying greyhounds are treated WELL by their racing owers, R U MAD? They’re lives are 95% in a HOT cage, no emotional care. No touching or plain affection which is partially why those muzzles STAY ON THEM ALMOST ALWAYS. These magestic k9s, like loads of others, have been treated worse than ever! Doping a dog to race w/ broken bones, illness, and worse pregnancy! Come on just read what’s available on BOTH SIDES & you’ll find you’ve been given lies, SOME OF US. This is WONDERFUL & I’ll help hands on when possible TO END THIS & MORE CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. ENOUGH ALREADY. We kill each other enough, let the smarter species thrive. At least they don’t murder, dump, abuse, fight for $, torture, thrill kill, CONSUME 4 proven unhealthy ancient holidays (Yulin), & MUCH MORE. Thank u.

      • darlene says:

        yes, and we will adopt…………… you must make money off this terrible sport

      • S L Jaclson says:

        Anything goes for the “bucks “, who gives a hoot what happens to the greyhounds as long as they can make the money go into the account.

      • Cynthia Cash says:

        Barb – You simply prove my point, “You can’t fix stupid”. Sorry but your facts are so very wrong, it would be humorous, if the end product (dead and injured dogs) were not so serious. I’ve moved over 4,000++ GHs into adoption when tracks closed during the early 90’s, and I would stake every grey hair in my head on the fact you are dead wrong. Cynthia Cash

      • Amy says:

        Definitely, spending 20- 23 hours in a crate!!!!!! That is abuse!!!!!! We shouldn’t have to teach a 4 yr old dog to walk up and down stairs!!!!!!!!!! It needs to end!!!!!!!!

      • Cathy A Kocienda says:

        These are lies! Nothing but lies!
        You want to race around a track for human greed, go for it! I’d pay just to watch.

    • T. Ellabarger says:

      Greyhounds can have accidents and die in our own back yards. They are sight hounds and that happens unfortunately happens when rabbits or squirrels enter the yard. Volunteering with this breed for the last ten years have educated me on all the false information plaguing this topic . Please talk to people like me that actually know the truth.

      • Frank says:

        I never very little about this industry but i do know that any time an animal or person is treated as a commodity it is NEVER a good thing. You can justify and rationalize this industry all day and I’d never support it based on that reason. So even is the animal is treated well during their career, why are there so many rescue organizations for greyhounds? If the original owners genuinely cared why wouldn’t they keep dogs even after they were no longer financially useful? One reason…$

    • Florence Lange says:

      Greyhounds and horses or any animal should not be subjected to racing. It is dangerous with falls and and slamming into each other. There are serious injuries with broken bones. It should be banned everywhere. The people who own them have no regard for the well being of their charges. They should be prosecuted for injuries and the industry shut down forever.

    • Joe T says:

      Horses and People die playing POLO ban that also then

  2. Cristine Garner says:

    This torture needs to stop! This kind of existence is the very definition of animal abuse and should be illegal!

  3. ETB says:

    Ignorant celebrities who know NOTHING about dogs.

  4. Marilyn Bostrack says:


  5. Stephanie says:

    Using any kind of innocent animals for entertainment and profit should be illegal. This is downright cruelty to innocent animals.

  6. Arlene Engels says:

    Pompano Beach racetrack and all the others need to go. Sad.

  7. kyoko Nakajima says:


  8. Sharon Dunithan says:

    I hope and pray that #13 passes, as an owner of these beautiful dogs I have heard all the stories about how wonderful trainers/owners are to the dogs, that is the biggest bunch of crap that I’ve ever heard. I have been to tracks, I have picked up dogs from tracks, and I have seen some unpleasant things in my time, my mind is made up, there is nothing anyone can say or do to change it, please everyone vote yes on # 13, for the dogs who deserve to be enjoying life in their forever homes…

  9. Jacky Thomasson says:

    Can someone explain why these so called people who use drugs on their dogs don’t get jail time? I don’t understand it…. If anyone else got done with cocaine, amphetamines etc we’d go to jail. Why is it they get away with it? It happens alot over here in Australia.

    • Cat Landess says:

      U haven’t read ANY OF these other peoples posts at all.
      U really should. I’m in MI & we have oodles of GHs rescued per year.
      Read it from people who have done this with their own hands. None of these k9s will end up HOMELESS. RESCUES, will, do & constantly race in their own time. With our own $ & resources to get all kinds of animals away from abuse. From the U.S.A. to across the planet. Would you let your pet or child be treated like these dogs? I refuse to allow it. So, I’ll speak for the voiceless & u keep believing the lies. It’s fine, my type will make a difference while you just nod your head & allow cruelty happen in your face. I’m sorry for the lies you’ve been told. Try another kool-aid someday okay?

  10. Stewart Guilford says:

    What century are we in? There are far better ways to make money than dog racing.

  11. EVA A. says:


  12. Pat Anderson says:

    When will humans stop torturing animals for their pleasure and the mighty dollar ? The LOVE of money the root of ALL evil. Greyhound racing is just that, EVIL . A miserable life for the poor dogs . Do the right thing , ban this now . God is watching and justice will come .

  13. Vivian M Garcia says:


  14. Heather Raugh says:

    Stop this abuse now. You can gamble other humane ways. ( machines- horse racing)….This is right up there with dog fighting.

  15. Julie Kennedy says:

    Had one, former racer, wonderful dog, lost her to cancer. Will get another one when I can.

  16. Julie Kennedy says:

    Had retired one, loved her, lost her to bone cancer. Will have another one when I can.

  17. Greytluver says:

    So now racing greyhounds spend 95% of their time muzzled? Presumably when they’re not eating?

    I would love to how that number was calculated. Thanks.

  18. Selinski says:

    Yes on 3. Want to gamble? Abuse yourself, not an animal.

  19. Zia Terhune says:

    Amendment 13. Yes. Yes. Yes.

  20. Christine says:

    Some of you are pretty ignorant about dog racing. They are very well cared for & none of my five have showed any signs of abuse. If the tracks close, we can count on all of you commenters & the celebs to adopt at least 5 yourselves, correct?

    • Gabriel says:

      Christine, are you saying that just because these dogs are no longer making you money, you’ll put them out on the street? And yet in the same breath you are trying to convince us how well cared for and loved they are in your home?

  21. Caitlin says:

    I am totally confused on how people can be against this amendment. I have a rescued greyhound that raced in Orlando and I can say first hand that she was not taken care of. Physically and mentally. Also ask yourselves why is it so important to put money on an animal for your own enjoyment, How selfish does that sound? Someone in an earlier post said that children get hurt in sports and this is just like a sport. Last I checked the child has a voice and can say yes or no on doing the sport. A greyhound cannot they do not have a choice they are raised to have that be all they know and the fact that all they know is racing and not love of someone to take care of them or a family or a warm home or couch is sad in its self. My greyhound Lydia now knows love and what its like to be part of a family and the only worry she has every day is how many walks she will get or treats she will get before bedtime.

  22. Craig Coakley says:

    I hope Florida gets it right and votes NO! Nobody is going to adopt all these dogs so you’re basically letting them die how? Think about that at bedtime.
    Also, to the uniformed comments that I read, you do realize that horse racing is far worse when it comes to doping (Lasix), broken legs on tracks, jockey injuries, deaths, fixing races. Yet, Florida is OK with that. Think before you speak or else ban every animal that races. Why pick and choose??

  23. Kathy says:

    How can you support this amendment when there is no viable plan to care for these dogs when racing ends! Thousands of dogs run the risk of being displaced.
    Adoption groups will not be able to handle the huge influx of dogs. When I Asked the president of the group spearheading this, what would happen to the rest, I was told they will go into the shelters in Florida. Florida shelters are already overcrowded.
    I have adopted many ex racing greyhounds directly from the track. They are healthy and lovable animals. Clearly they are treated well.
    I hope Florida voters see through this and vote “No”.

Share a Comment

The HSUS encourages open discussion, and we invite you to share your opinion on our issues. By participating on this page, you are agreeing to our commenting policy.
Please enter your name and email address below before commenting. Your email address will not be published.