Tracks will wind down over 26 months, allowing greyhounds to be absorbed by waiting rescue groups all across the country. Read the timeline to victory and learn how you can sponsor a hound as tracks close.
Thanks to Doris Day for endorsing the Protect Dogs - Yes on 13 campaign to phase-out dog racing in Florida!
In 1931, Florida became the first state to authorize pari-mutuel wagering on dogs, and it is now home to three of the eight dog tracks nationwide. Racing dogs are kept confined in small, stacked cages for 20-23 hours a day and fed a diet based on raw 4-D meat. Over the past decade, over 400 greyhounds have tested drug-positive at tracks across the state, including 68 cocaine-positives. When let our of their cages to race, these gentle dogs face the risk of serious injury and death. In fact, according to state records, a dog dies every three days at a Florida racetrack.
GREY2K USA Worldwide was the chief sponsor of Amendment 13, a constitutional amendment to prohibit dog racing and close down the twelve tracks of Florida. The old Miami track, Flagler Greyhound Park, chose to shut down before the vote. The question was approved by a margin of 69% to 31% on the statewide ballot on November 6, 2018 and triggered a 26-month phase-out of live racing through December 2020. Thousands of dogs will now receive the second chance they deserve. Additionally, remaining dog tracks in the United States and around the globe will be negatively impacted as Florida is truly the hub of dog racing worldwide. It was the first place in the world to legalize commercial dog racing, and we believe that the passage of Amendment 13 signals hope for greyhounds everywhere.
By law, the holders of dog track licenses were required to offer at least 100 live racing performances each year. In Fiscal Year 2016, there were a total of 3,369 performances each comprised of 8 to 15 races, amounting to 44,364 total races.1 As of October 2018, there were 3,700 greyhounds registered at track kennel compounds across the state.2
Greyhound racing in the state is regulated by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. In May 2013, GREY2K USA lobbied successfully for an animal welfare rule that contained several greyhound provisions and required that all greyhound deaths that occur at track facilities be reported.3 Additionally, a Seminole County ballot question resulted in regulation which required Sanford Orlando Kennel Club to report all greyhound injuries. However, Florida remains the only state where greyhound injury reporting is not mandated.
In Fiscal Year 2016, the total amount gambled on live racing at Florida dog tracks was $87,003,278.4 This amounts to a decline of 56.6% since 2006.5