Florida, one of the major greyhound racing states, is going to phase out greyhound racing. After December 2020, it will become illegal in Florida. In November 2018, Florida residents voted to enact the greyhound racing ban.
Some of the animal welfare concerns about the greyhound racing industry include: confining dogs in crates for most of the day, injuries (mostly broken legs) that occur while dogs are racing, and the uncertain fate of dogs that retire from racing.
Advocates of greyhound racing state that dogs receive excellent care, vaccinations, plenty of exercise and good medical supervision. Otherwise, a dog is not able to perform at his/her best, and will not win any prize money. They state all retired racers get placed in homes, or return to their home farm to become breeding animals. Owners state that they spend about $3000 per dog, just to get a dog ready to start racing.
Revenue from betting on greyhound racing topped $1 billion per year, during the late 1980’s. This revenue has gradually declined, with revenues of only $26 million in 2017 and 2018. The decline in revenue is due to competition from casinos and state lotteries, as well as a general decline in interest in dog and horse racing nationwide.
It is likely that many greyhounds will need to find adoptive homes over the next few years, as all of the Florida tracks close. So, if a new dog is on your wish list, consider adopting a greyhound.
From time to time, PAAWS RI will post newsworthy items about what is happening with animals around the country. We are hoping that these short articles will keep all of the animal lovers up to date with changes in animal policy, and new developments for animals.
By Dr. Annette Rauch, Founder of PAAWS RI