Greyhound Races Were Banned In Florida. Here’s What That Means For The Dogs
You may not have been focused on greyhound racing during the United States midterm elections, but voters in Florida were. On Election Day (Tuesday, November 6th, 2018), voters in the state overwhelmingly approved ballot measure Amendment 13, banning greyhound racing in all of Florida.
Greyhound racing has long been a controversial topic. It’s a competitive sport in which greyhounds are raced around a track using an artificial lure that travels ahead of the dogs on a rail until they cross the finish line. As with horse races, there’s often betting involved on which dogs are going to win. Greyhound racing has long been criticized for reported abuse of dogs, who are often neglected and kept in inhumane conditions.
Out of the 17 active dog racing tracks in the U.S., 11 are in Florida. Other American states that host greyhound races include West Virginia and Iowa. But following the recent ballot measure vote, the greyhound industry in the state of Florida will be dismantled and shut down entirely by January 2021.
While many animal welfare advocacy groups are pleased with this outcome, it also means that more than six thousand greyhounds will be looking for a new forever home. Grey2K Worldwide, a non-profit organization that has long advocated to end the cruelty of greyhound racing, and other animal welfare organizations in the U.S. have hundreds of greyhound adoption groups across the country ready to absorb the ex-race dogs once the ban goes into effect.
But as a country, we also can welcome these pups into our homes. Although many of these greyhounds have been racing since they were two years old, these gentle giants can easily be integrated into a home setting with a little patience. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering taking one of these ex-race dogs into your home.
Adopting A Greyhound
Although these greyhounds have been racing from a young age, as per The Washington Post, Adopt-a-Greyhound.org points out that these pups can make great pets. Since the lures that these greyhounds have been trained to chase are usually mechanical, the pups don’t have a vicious or predatory bone in their bodies. Since race dogs often work closely with trainers and vets, they’re accustomed to being around people and are typically friendly. The American Kennel Club describes greyhounds as “gentle, noble, sweet-tempered and independent.” Because of their short hair, they require little grooming, but it is important that they get regular exercise. While greyhounds are happy to lounge around the house all day, they should be given the occasional opportunity to go on a (safe) full-out run.
If you’re interested in adopting a greyhound from the racing grounds, the non-profit Grey2K USA helps you easily locate greyhound shelters in your state. Once you find a shelter near you, make sure that you talk to employees to ensure that the dog that you choose fits with your current lifestyle and living arrangements. Take this opportunity to help greyhounds find a new home and you could be close to finding your new BFF!
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