Animal Rights Florida Meetup Message Board › Greyhounds need votes in south Florida
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Although this isn't a central Florida issue, it's important. If you have friends or family that live in Miami please tell them to vote for the greyhounds on January 29th and forward this message to them.
If you care about animals, please vote no!
On January 29, 2008, residents of Miami-Dade County will vote on a referendum to allow slot machines in dog and horse tracks and Jai-Alai frontons in the county.
Miami's dog and horse tracks are hoping that slots will give new life to a dying industry. The owner of the Flagler Dog Track has told the Miami Herald, ''Our goal is to keep this place operating until we get slots." A loss on January 29 would be a blow to Florida's cruel greyhound racing industry.
Greyhound racing is first and foremost a business, and trainers and track owners place financial gain over the welfare of animals. Florida is home to more tracks (sixteen) than anywhere else in the country.
When greyhounds do not run profitably, due to injury or age, they are of little use to the racing industry. Thousands of greyhounds are killed each year in the United States. The "fortunate" ones are killed humanely. It is common for losing dogs to be shot, abandoned, or even sold for medical experimentation.
To ensure a constant supply of new racers, more than 25,000 dogs are bred each year in the United States. Some unwanted greyhounds are rescued by adoption organizations, but there are simply not enough homes for them all. At least 5,000 former racing greyhounds are killed each year.
Even for winning dogs, the realities of kennel life are shameful. Racing greyhounds spend most of their lives? 18 to 20 hours a day? confined in cramped crates with little human contact.
Injuries, Neglect & Abuse
The abuse and neglect of racing greyhounds is common at kennels and tracks in Florida. There have been numerous media reports of dogs subjected to cruel treatment, suffering injuries while racing, and of ex-racing dogs being abandoned. Below are a few incidents that were reported by the media in recent years:
? August 2007: Three dead greyhounds were discovered at the Daytona Beach Kennel Club. The dogs were believed to have died of heat exhaustion. The dog's trainer had his license suspended after three other dogs under his care tested positive for traces of cocaine (the drug is believed to enhance performance).
? August 19, 2006: An evening race at the Mardi Gras Racetrack (formerly Hollywood Greyhound Track) went horribly wrong. Although dogs routinely suffer injuries during races, this accident was caught on film.
Click on this link to view the video: http://www.youtube.co...
In the video, dog number 5 falls during the first turn. The race continues and as the dogs make their final turn, you can hear the announcer yelling, "Get the 5!" Dog number 5 recovered from the earlier fall, but began running the wrong way. The dog may have been hit by the mechanical lure. The dog suffered a fractured left shoulder and a lacerated artery, and was euthanized on site.
? February 2006: Two employees of a racing kennel near the Daytona Beach Kennel Club were arrested and charged with cruelty to animals for failing to provide veterinary treatment to dogs seriously injured in a fight. The animals were left alone to suffer without medical attention for 24 hours (one of the dogs died two days after the incident).
? November 2003: Two greyhounds were seriously injured during races at the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track on the same day. According to eyewitnesses, neither dog received immediate care because no veterinarian was on duty.
? July 2003: A 3-year-old greyhound named "Leta's Princess" was euthanized on the track at the Palm Beach Kennel Club after colliding with the motorized lure that greyhounds chase around the track.
? May 2002: The remains of an estimated 3,000 greyhounds were discovered on the Alabama property of a former track security guard who told authorities he had been killing unwanted greyhounds with a .22-caliber rifle for decades. Most of the dogs were from the Pensacola Greyhound track, but others were from racetracks elsewhere in Florida.
You Can Help
As long as Florida greyhound tracks abuse and exploit greyhounds, ARFF activists will stand up and be a voice for these gentle dogs.
? Avoid greyhound tracks. Tell your friends, family, and coworkers about the tragedy of greyhound racing and urge them not to attend or bet on dog races.
? Unlike most other states with dog tracks, Florida does not require tracks to report when an animal is injured or dies. Contact your state senator and state representative and demand that dog (and horse) tracks in Florida be required to report racing-related injuries and deaths.
? Consider adopting a needy greyhound.
For more information on how you can help greyhounds visit www.greyhounds.org