Target: Rick Scott, Governor of Florida
Goal: Ban greyhound racing in Florida.
Florida is one of five states that still allows greyhound racing, despite the hundreds of dog injuries and deaths this sport has caused. Grey2K, a greyhound advocacy group, reports that 360 dogs have been killed racing on Florida tracks since May of 2013. Off the track, the dogs also lead miserable lives, allegedly spending twenty hours or more a day in cramped cages. They’re reportedly fed a diet of cheap meat, and they’re often denied basic veterinary care. There have also been reports of dogs being dosed with cocaine and other illegal drugs to make them perform better.
Attendance is down at greyhound tracks across Florida, and many tracks are losing money on their dog racing. One of the only reasons that the tracks keep racing dogs is because of a quirk in Florida law. Greyhound tracks make most of their money off their poker rooms and simulcasts, but to keep their gambling licenses, the tracks must hold dog races. In essence, dogs are getting injured and killed simply so these tracks can keep their poker rooms open. This is why many greyhound advocates support “decoupling,” a proposed law that would allow the dog tracks to keep their poker rooms without racing greyhounds. This solution is the best choice for both track owners and the greyhounds themselves.
Greyhound racing has led to hundreds of unnecessary dog deaths in just the past few years. It’s time to end this cruel practice in Florida. Sign this petition to urge Governor Rick Scott to pass the decoupling law, allowing track owners to make money off their poker rooms without having to race greyhounds.
Dear Governor Scott,
Greyhound racing is a cruel sport that has led to deaths of 360 dogs in Florida just since May of 2013. The dogs allegedly spend most of their days in small, isolated cages, and they’re fed a diet of cheap meat. There have even been reports of the dogs being given cocaine and other performance enhancing drugs.
Greyhound track owners are also losing money off of the dog races. In 2015, the Melbourne Track lost an estimated $180,000, and in 2012, the Naples-Fort Myers Track reported losing $2 million. Most people do not go to the greyhound tracks to watch the races — they go to play poker. But since the tracks can only get a gambling license for their poker rooms if they run dogs, track owners are forced to continue the unprofitable and cruel races.
The majority of the country has banned greyhound racing, and now Florida must follow suit. I urge you to work with lawmakers to pass the decoupling law so that dog track owners will be able to have gambling licenses without racing greyhounds.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: David Merrett