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Local Greyhound Rescues Prepare For Mass Greyhound Retirement In 2020

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Voters ended greyhound racing by passing amendment 13 by almost 69 percent, but the amendment includes language saying that those card rooms can continue to operate.

Greyhound tracks in Florida have until December 31, 2020, to stop races. But some, like Melbourne Greyhound Park, are ending the practice early. 

The House Gaming Control Subcommittee received an update from the state Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering on Wednesday about the implementation of the newly passed amendment.

Lou Trombetta, with the division, said some racetracks are already stopping races, while others plan to phase out the racing in the next few months. Some, however, will keep the dogs until they are no longer allowed to.

“We have already received an indication from some of them that they don’t intend to race. So, we do expect the number of performances to decrease, prior to that cutoff period,” Trombetta said. “So we expect, so far, four facilities to stop racing.”

Florida has 11 active greyhound tracks, a majority of all the dog tracks left in the United States. Last November’s Amendment 13 was passed with the support of 69 percent of voters.

Carol Becker is the president of God’s Greyts Greyhound Group, which helps adopt greyhounds.

She said the group is worried most tracks will wait until the deadline to retire the dogs – which could lead to anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 dogs needing homes at the same time.

“Think about the possibility of fostering a greyhound when the time comes,” Becker said. “Even if they don’t want to adopt one, if they could just foster one for a few weeks or maybe a month until we can get some of these dogs processed and spayed and neutered.”

She said the group is also looking for used crates for greyhounds.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.
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