Amendment 13 Puts an End to Dog Racing in Florida

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Amendment 13 Puts an End to Dog Racing in Florida

Veronica Sanjurjo, Author

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On November 6, voters in Florida overwhelmingly approved Amendment 13 in order to ban dog racing statewide. Dog racing, most notably greyhound racing, will be phased out by 2020 and the 11 tracks that remain in Florida will be closed down.

 

Born in Hialeah in the 1920s, dog racing quickly grew to become a staple of South Florida culture . In 1946, track owners came together to form the American Greyhound Track Operators Association, placing Florida in the national dog racing scene. While the sport thrived for decades, profit began to decline when animal rights activists took control of the situation, protesting against the abuse of greyhounds. Violations sprung up and cases of mistreatment were investigated. Hundreds of dogs were tested positive for drugs such as cocaine and novocaine and owners failed to provide adequate veterinary care on multiple occasions.

 

Organizations such as Grey2K, the ASPCA, and the Humane Society of the United States have been working hard to enact legislation to ban greyhound racing for years. However, opponents of the ban fear that the influx of newly adoptable dogs due to the ban is too large and that many will not be saved. Michelle Weaver, vice president of the adoption agency Friends of Greyhounds, is confident that a suitable home will be found for these dogs. “We’ve got a year to handle it, we’ve been preparing for it,” said Weaver.