The Florida Greyhound racetracks have just over a year to close their doors permanently after an overwhelming number of Floridians voted in favor of banning Greyhound racing. While the intentions are good, it is an action which will ultimately leave hundreds, even thousands, of retired race dogs homeless.
According to WJHG, Florida Greyhound racetracks have been a part of the state's history for over a century. The oldest photos of the events date back to 1922 but reports show the races had been going on for over a decade prior. Florida is currently home to 11 of the 17 total controversial Greyhound racetracks in the nation.
But last November, Floridians voted it was time to finally shut the races down. According to the information published by CBS Miami, supporters of Amendment 13 voted to close all remaining bet-taking Greyhound race tracks by December 31, 2020. The “yes” votes outnumbered the “no” votes by more than half as 5,407,543 Floridians support the ban compared to 2,423,126 people voting against it.
Fox News states that over 7,000 of the racing dogs could end up flooding shelters and rescues as the racetracks close down and leave the canines homeless.
Of course, not all Greyhounds will end up in shelters. Some of them are already spoken for and some of them will stay with their current owners to either be used as breeders or simply as pets. It's up to each individual owner to decide what they want to do with their retired racer.
With that being said, it's not unlikely that most will end up in shelters - as many retired racers do after their career ends. Some Florida shelters and rescues have already started to prepare for the overabundance of retired racers. Daniel Robbin, a volunteer at Greyhound Pet Adoption told CBS the rescue organization is getting ready for the big task ahead - making it their mission to place each and every Greyhound that walks through their doors.
Most Floridians voted to end the racing because many consider it inhumane. PETA reports that Greyhounds routinely sustain serious injuries while racing - GREY2K documented more than 15,000 injuries—including broken legs, broken backs, head trauma, and electrocution—between January 2008 and April 2018.
More than 1,000 Greyhounds have died on tracks since 2008. In Florida alone, state records show that a greyhound used for racing dies every three days.
Although a majority of those in favor of keeping the racetracks open believe that there is always a risk of injury with any sport but Greyhounds are born to run and they love doing it.
No matter what side you are on there is no debating that December 2020 is coming quick and the fate of thousands of retired dogs is still unknown.
If you would like to read more facts about Greyhound racing, click here.
If you would like to see retired racers currently available for adoption, click here.