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Unfortunately, gambling on greyhound races is still going on today. However, 40 U. S. states have already banned it. The co-founder of Grey2K USA, Carey Theil, said, “Every three days, a greyhound dies at a Florida dog track. ” Voting yes on Florida Amendment 13 would end the abuse and cruelty of greyhound racing. The dogs gain a plethora of injuries both on and off the track, they have horrible living conditions, and they are often given drugs to make them perform better, getting their trainers more money.
Dogs obtain many injuries, and sometimes die, due to the difficulties of racing. The most common injuries reported have been a broken leg, broken back, head trauma, and electrocution. There is some evidence which proves that racing in extreme weather conditions has caused the greyhounds to acquire these injuries. According to USA Worldwide, a greyhound named KB’s Greer who raced at Florida’s Pensacola Greyhound Track in May 2014 had to be euthanized. The organization said that the track veterinarian determined “the greyhound was suffering from heat exhaustion and its organs began shutting down. ” Racing in these conditions can be very damaging to their bodies. Along with heat exhaustion and failing organs, if they were racing in rain, the track would be slippery, opening them up to sprains and broken bones. The Committee to Protect Greyhounds, a pro-racing organization, compares racing greyhounds to “many working breeds” such as “Labrador Retrievers who are used for hunting, sled dogs who participate in racing, horses who race and participate in show jumping, and dogs and sheep who participate in agility tests. ” They also claim that “they are all animals with jobs which keep them happy, healthy, in top condition, and accomplishing what they have been bred to do. ” There are animals more suited for certain things, however racing or hunting isn’t their “job. ” They are mainly put into races so the trainers can make money off of them when gambling. There are a great deal of factors that can contribute to the pain and suffering that the greyhounds may feel. The dogs are often forced to stay confined in kennels filled with stacked cages for up to 20-23 hours a day, and most of these locations don’t have heating or air conditioning.
The Florida Greyhound Association claims that “Everything from the size of the crate, the quantity and quality of food, the amount of veterinary care to the amount of walking, exercise, and playtime is closely monitored. ” However, there have been many reports that show what some racing dog’s living facilities look like, which in most cases is described as compounds with warehouse-style kennels with rows of stacked metal cages. Their only bit of “comfort” may be the shredded paper or carpet remnants that is used as bedding. Most places may only let them out for an hour or two, and there have been many cases where some cages are barely big enough for the greyhounds to turn around or even stand up. Protect Dogs Yes on 13 says, “According to state records, dog track cages measure 36 inches, by 36 inches, by 42 inches. ” Having the dogs locked up for long periods of time can cause them to lack the proper exercise and food that they need. This can also cause them to become antisocial, hostile, and aggressive towards humans. These extended periods of time in confinement may cause dogs to become malnourished and weak, and could also lead to injury while racing.
Greyhounds are often given drugs to improve their performance, and female greyhounds may be given anabolic steroids to prevent them from going into heat and losing racing days. A. J. Grant, a trainer from the Sanford-Orlando Kennel Club, said, “You can’t be unhealthy and run around a track in half a minute. ” According to Grey2K USA Worldwide, the steroids can have serious side effects such as “increased aggression, resulting in fighting during trial and racing”, “increased weight due to water retention, ” “occasional loss of vigor, ” and “virilization” in females, which is the development of male physical characteristics. Drugging the dogs gives the owner or trainer an unfair advantage when gambling because they can control how their dog performs on the track. There have even been some cases when cocaine was found at the greyhound racetracks. Companies and organizations claim that all accusations and allegations are false, even though there are many incidents that have been reported. Grey2K USA, who has several reports from Florida racetracks alone, said, “At Orange Park Kennel Club, a trainer, Charles F. McClellan, was charged with eighteen greyhound cocaine positive infractions, six belonged to the same dog. This later resulted in his suspension. ” Carey Theil of Grey2K says that the cocaine led to “heart attacks” and in some cases with female dogs, “serious hormonal imbalances and genital deformities. ” Not only that, but cocaine can be toxic to dogs if it’s ingested or inhaled, so it can either lead to an illness or death. It may help the owner or trainer gain more money, but giving the greyhounds steroids and cocaine can put the dog’s health at risk.
Today, these races cause wasteful and needless suffering to the dogs, and they are rejected to a form of entertainment. The races cause harm not only to their bodies, but to their personalities and behaviors as they are subject to a variety of injuries, terrible living conditions, and different drugs for performance enhancement. By voting yes on Florida Amendment 13, gambling on dog races will end, and more dog’s lives will be saved.
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