FAQ » Pending Florida State Constitution Measure
As a non-profit greyhound adoption agency with over 20 years in the Tampa Bay area, Greyhound Pets of America / Tampa Bay volunteers have been asked about current proposed legislation that bans wagering on greyhound racing. Our volunteers remain racing neutral and pro-greyhound.
Towards that end this group is against the proposed amendment on the Florida ballot because we do not feel it serves the best interest of greyhounds.We find it necessary to address statements made in various forums about racing greyhounds and their life prior to adoptions. Making decisions as serious as changing the state constitution should be based on facts. Everything stated here is based on our experiences as the official adoption partner of Derby Lane.
The statements posted here and on our Facebook page are intended to inform, not to defend or offend.
UNTRUE: Amending the State of Florida Constitution to prohibit wagering on greyhounds / dog racing will save greyhounds’ lives.
TRUTH: The amendment makes no provision for taking care of approx 15,000 greyhounds (at farms & currently racing) once wagering and/or racing is prohibited. Most of these dogs will be euthanized because there is no income or funds to take care of them once the greyhounds and their caretakers are unemployed. In addition, the proposition does not outlaw sending greyhounds out of the country to places that have NO animal rights or protection laws. Many of our volunteers have contacted the CRC Executive committee to request the proposal not move forward. If you are so inclined, please do the same.
UNTRUE: GPA/Tampa Bay is not racing neutral; the group is beholden to Derby Lane and the racing industry because they receive donations from the industry.
TRUTH: GPA/Tampa Bay is pro-greyhound. Each communication, each action our volunteers take is with the purpose of adopting greyhounds. Yes, the industry donates money to GPA/Tampa Bay for greyhound adoption; it’s the responsible thing to do for the greyhounds. Yes, GPA/Tampa Bay accepts money from the racing industry; it’s the responsible thing to do for the greyhounds.
UNTRUE: Racing greyhounds’ feet never touch grass.
TRUTH: Greyhounds touch grass on the farms, at the track (e.g. Derby Lane) when walking to/from training & racing, when walked by adoption volunteers.
UNTRUE: Greyhounds are only let out one to two hours a day.
TRUTH: Racing greyhounds are more active than most house pets, especially when the owners work 8-9 hours a day, commute and sleep 8 hours. As an adoption agency, our goal is to maintain a schedule that will help the greyhound transition to life at that home.
UNTRUE: Greyhounds are forced to run.
TRUTH: Just like you lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink, you can take a greyhound to a track but you cannot force it to run. When a greyhound won’t run, it takes the “early retirement program” and comes to GPA/Tampa Bay to prepare for adoption.
TWISTED TRUTH: Three greyhounds die every week in the racing industry.
TRUTH: It saddens us all when it occurs, but that’s 0.0375% of the racing greyhounds in Florida. It’s on par with the number of pets that die in Florida households.
TWISTED TRUTH: Greyhounds that sustain injuries, like broken legs, are euthanized.
TRUTH: Injuries occur while racing, just as injuries occur with human athletes. When someone sees a GPA/Tampa Bay volunteer at the vet with a greyhound that has broken leg, it’s because we are getting the leg fixed prior to adoption.
TWISTED TRUTH: Racing injuries are not reported in the State of Florida.
TRUTH: Racing injuries are reported to those who need to know: the adoption agencies, the vets and the adopters.
UNTRUE: Racing greyhounds get cancer, and other diseases, at a higher rate than other pets.
TRUTH: Greyhounds are not even in the top 10. References: iheartdogs.com/10-breeds-with-highest-cancer-rates/ and www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/general-health/dog-breeds-highest-cancer-rate
TWISTED TRUTH: Racing greyhounds are fed meat that is not fit for human consumption.
TRUTH: When’s the last time you opened a can of Alpo because you were hungry? No dog food is fit for human consumption. GPA/Tampa Bay prepares greyhounds for adoption by slowly weaning them from their working diet to one that complements a sedentary lifestyle.
UNTRUE: Crates are stacked three high and are too small for greyhounds to stand or turnaround.
TRUTH: Crates are two high; greyhounds can stand with plenty of head clearance, can turnaround, can stretch out. GPA/Tampa Bay houses ex-racing greyhounds in the same compound in the same style crates as the racing kennels. We are proud of our adoption kennel and the care our greys receive while in our charge.