Dog racing in Florida is facing some serious problems thanks to a recent amendment. The pretty controversial Amendment 13 threatens dog racing in the state. The way it works is that the amendment will ban all wages on dog racing by 2020.
The amendment is not without opposition, however, including from the local Ebro Greyhound Park in Washington County. The people who work there claim that they treat their dogs with nothing but humanity.
Teresa Duncan, a manager at Ebro, says “We have an open door policy, anyone that wants to come can get with the racing judge, get a pass to be able to come in. They can come in and look and see how these dogs are taken care of.”
Avery Hodges, is also an employee at Ebro and his position is that “I’m a dog person, I love dogs. If I thought something bad was going on here, I wouldn’t be here.”
The committee behind the amendment is adamant, however.
Kate MacFall, a Co-Chair of the committee, says “They’re in harm’s way. It’s not personal about any particular trainer or situation, it’s just in general.”
According to her, the idea that Amendment 13 threatens dog racing in places like Ebro is wrong.
“It phases out commercial greyhound racing, but doesn’t affect other kinds of gambling, so they can continue to do that, just minus the dogs,” she added.
On the other hand, Ken Turner, a patron of Ebro said, “This is something that’s been going on for many, many years and it’s a great thing to watch these animals run and perform.”
For the committee, the bottom line is that waging on dog races simply isn’t in line with modern society thinking.
MacFall also said, “Dogs are members of our families, it’s just out of step with society’s values.”
On their website, Protect Dogs – Yes on 13 wrote: “Greyhounds are at a disadvantage even before they are born. Thousands are bred annually—many more than are needed to race—in an attempt to create the fastest dogs. These social dogs are forced to spend most of their time alone, confined in warehouse-style kennels with rows of double –stacked cages for 20-23 hours a day.
Many racing dogs suffer injuries while racing, and according to state records a racing greyhound dies every three days on a Florida track. Eleven of the remaining 17 greyhound racetracks in the country are in Florida. … Dog racing is out of sync with society’s values toward animals. Today this kind of wasteful and needless suffering is rejected as a form of gambling or entertainment. According to government records now available, common racing injuries include broken necks and broken backs, dislocations, torn muscles, and paralysis. Electrocutions have also occurred when dogs make contact with a track’s high voltage lure. Some dogs die on the racetrack while others are put down due to the severity of their injuries, or simply because of their diminished value as racers.”