Greyhound racing is all but dead as Florida prepares for its final races
With a historic law we helped pass that bans greyhound racing in Florida about to take effect at the beginning of 2021, the last three remaining racetracks in the state have announced the dates for their final races in December. It would not be a stretch to say that once the dogs cross the finish line at the Palm Beach racetrack on Dec. 31st, this inhumane “sport” will be all but dead not just in Florida but across the United States.
Earlier this year, Alabama and Texas closed their last racetracks. Forty-one states, including Florida, have banned greyhound racing. The last track in Arkansas will close in 2021, leaving just two more states with greyhound racetracks—West Virginia and Iowa. In these states too, the sport is in a downward spiral, shored up by taxpayer funds.
This day couldn’t have come sooner, and we are proud for the role we have played in making it happen. Over the decades that greyhound racing flourished in the United States, it came at a terrible cost to the animals who were its supposed stars. Just since 2013, when Florida began tracking greyhound deaths, 493 dogs have died on its tracks. Ninety-four percent of these dogs were three years old or younger. It was estimated that in 2018, when 11 tracks were operating in the state, one dog died every three days on a Florida track.
The living conditions of the animals are not much better—dogs at racetracks are typically confined to stacked, warehouse-style metal cages barely large enough for them to turn around in, usually for 20 to 23 hours each day.
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As awareness about this cruelty grew, spectators abandoned greyhound racing and the animals often ran in front of near-empty bleachers. Momentum to end racing in Florida, considered the last remaining stronghold of this industry, was so strong that when we and our partners Grey2K USA Worldwide and Doris Day Animal League (the largest donor to the campaign because this was a legacy issue for Doris Day), pushed for Amendment 13 to ban greyhound racing in the state in 2018, the measure passed by nearly 70 percent. And this happened despite the deep pockets and strident opposition of some powerful groups that lobbied against this measure, including the American Kennel Club, the NRA and the Farm Bureau.
Earlier this year the law survived a legal challenge brought forward by the industry.
Greyhound racing was never a good idea, and fortunately, it will soon be a dead one. According to a recent National Geographic article, although greyhound adoption agencies are trying to find homes for the dogs racing at the last three remaining tracks, the industry will not accept assistance from any adoption group that supported the ban.
Fortunately, hardworking rescue organizations are doing all they can to save the lives of these animals. The Humane Society of the United States has awarded more than $15,000 to help rescued greyhounds transition to their forever homes. We look forward to the day when each of these companion animals is in the care of a loving family, spending their days romping around, asking for treats, and cuddling on a couch.
Ya no podemos permitir más abusos hacía los animalitos por favor
This is great news for the greyhound racing. These animals were used for entertainment and lived in deplorable conditions and many were hurt and then later died during training and racing. This was all for people making money off of them for betting which is totally unnecessary and cost the lives of many dogs. I am hoping that horse racing will also be outlawed as to me it is the same as greyhound racing. It only exists for the entertainment of people and these horses win or lose wind up in the hands of kill buyers and sent to slaughter in Canada, Mexico, or overseas. Horse racing kills over 600 horses a year and there is no way this sport can be reformed it needs to stop like greyhound racing. It,s purpose is solely entertainment and it is abusive.
I don’t believe you.it’s another hit on our freedom.
When “freedom” involves cruelty for the sake of a few bucks, it’s not freedom whatsoever. It’s murder.
I agree! Horse racing should be banned as well.
No animal should ever suffer at the hand of a human! Ever!!!!
Thank you for your hard work and persistent focus on this issue. While HSUS won a big victory in Florida and other states, the bigger winners are the racing greyhounds of today, as well as the future generations of dogs that would have been forced to live sad lives in such an inhumane system. Plus, your financial support to help greyhounds transition to loving homes is not only the right thing to do, it’s inspiring. Beautiful. Well done!
Brilliant. I wish this would happen in Australia and Ireland also. Sadly some of the Australian greyhound breeders/owners have still managed to export greyhounds to China for breeding purposes…etc. There has to be an end of the cruelty these dogs suffer…..Thank You
CRUELTY COME FROM OWNERS, TRAINERS, TRACKS, ETC… NOT FROM RACING ITSELF. THIS DOGS ARE BORN TO RACE JUST LIKE HORSES, THEY LOVE IT PERIOD. THE BAN IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG, THE REASON IT WON IS BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE VOTE TO ENDED WITHOUT EVEN KNOW WHAT IT IS. NOT SURE WHEN, WE MIGHT WONT BE EVEN HERE, BUT DOG RACING WILL MAKE A COMEBACK , IT WILL, WITH BETTER CARE AND FACILITYS.
How will it make a come back when is has been banned in these states. Good luck with that. Iowa and West Virginia will follow. If you want to see greyhound racing guess you will need to go to China. Happy for the greyhounds.
I have been working with greyhound rescue for 11years and have 5 greys of my own .Yes they do love to run but no they do not love to race, as for my dogs they still flinch at the banging sound of a starter pistol and have so many track related fears.They are all wonderful in their own right and each has his/her own personality and I can assure you that racing is still a nightmare for them and the last thing they wish to do. In this belief sir I can assure you are wrong.
Sure you may have saved this lives of some of the dogs but moving forward with the banning of racing there won’t be any need to breed greyhounds anymore so in the end what have you really done when greyhounds are no longer around?
Such nice ideas.. you have written it so well. Love this post!
If it is inhumane then why are there horse races? Dogs aren’t killed randomly, yet if a horse does anything to his leg, they put a bullet in his head. I will tell you exactly why these people put dog racing out of commission, because they can. The kennel owners don’t have anywhere near the money that the blue bloods in horse racing have. They can defeat the dog owners simply because the kennels, who by the way this was their livelihood but people don’t care about that, do not have the money to fight it. Yet, every May they prance out 20 horses in an event that millions watch and thousands attend in the Kentucky Derby.