New Hampshire Ends Live Greyhound Racing; Will Florida Follow Suit?
|Jailamony used to race at Mardi Gras. Now she sits around looking adorable.|
Live greyhound racing in New Hampshire ended swiftly this week with a new state bill that allows the two tracks there to have simulcast betting without having to run dogs on the premises.
Similar bills have been proposed in the Florida Legislature each of the past three years, but none made it out of committee. South Florida, home of the country's first dog track, still has three of the state's busiest tracks: Flagler Dog Track and Gaming Center in Miami, Palm Beach Kennel Club in West Palm, and Mardi Gras Race Track and Gaming Center in Hallandale Beach, where my dog raced.
GREY2K USA, a Massachusetts-based antiracing group, has lobbied the New Hampshire Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission (formerly the Pari-Mutuel Commission) for years. Recently, the group has turned its eyes to the Sunshine State.
It should probably be noted that the New Times office is a fan of greyhounds. In May, I wrote a cover story about the racing industry in Florida and the injured greyhound I adopted (seen here), and for the story, I spoke with GREY2K President Christine Dorchak.
"This is an incredible victory for everyone who cares about animals, and ends a sad chapter in New Hampshire history," she said via email.
"The fight is still not completely over. We will not rest until greyhound racing is illegal in New Hampshire supporters, and dog racing cannot be resurrected."
According to the GREY2K website, more than 1,200 dogs have been injured or killed while racing in New Hampshire since 2005.
Florida laws don't require tracks or trainers to report injuries or deaths.
Florida has nearly half the live tracks in the country and the majority of breeding farms.
Dorchak visited the Florida Capitol earlier this year to hold a news conference calling for the end of racing here. She says her group is more focused than ever on drawing attention to the living conditions greyhounds endure.
I asked my dog what she thinks of this new turn in the industry, but as I've stated here before, she doesn't speak English.
In this video, New Hampshire officials and GREY2K representatives comment on the "moral issue" of greyhound racing.