Greyhound racing ban backers ante up in June - Florida Politics

Greyhound racing ban backers ante up in June

The political committee backing a ballot measure to ban greyhound racing in Florida took in more than $250,000 last month, with much of that cash coming in from a pair of national groups.

The Committee to Protect Dogs showed more than $165,000 in contributions between June 1 and June 22, and Grey2K USA Worldwide easily topped the report with a $100,000 check and another $10,000-plus worth of “in-kind” support covering staffing, supplies and travel.

The next report turned in by the committee, covering June 23 through June 29, clocked in at $102,237 and included a $100,000 check from The Humane Society of the United States.

Much of the remaining June money came in via a $50,000 check from the Santa Barbara, Calif.- based K-M Revocable Trust, though numerous small-dollar donors chipped in as well, including a couple dozen at the $13 level, a nod to the greyhound ban’s status as Amendment 13 on the 2018 ballot.

In all, the Committee to Protect Dogs has raised $317,756 since it opened in mid-March. It had about $296,000 on hand on June 29.

The greyhound ban, which was placed on the ballot by the Constitutional Revision Commission, is one of 13 measures that will go before voters in the 2018 general election. Proposed amendments need at least 60 percent approval to be added to the state constitution.

Amendment 13 is being opposed by the Florida Greyhound Association, a coalition of greyhound owners and trainers. The group has challenged the proposed amendment in court; a trial is set for next month in Tallahassee.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

91 Comments

  1. I hope this awful “sport” is banned once and for all. There are enough homeless dogs being dumped every year as it is and we don’t need hundreds of abandoned race dogs being added to the mix as well! I know people like to sugar coat it and say the dogs are “retired” but it still doesn’t change the fact that they are being dumped into rescues when they are no longer useful as race dogs.

    1. Sorry Jackie but get Educated, they are not dumped into rescues, they go to adoption groups through out the US and Canada which have waiting list for athletes that are great pets because of they way they are raise, You will never see a greyhound in a rescue or a Humane Society Kill shelter unless it was put there by an adopter that didnt return it to the adoption group Dont believe the lies, Vote No on 13

    2. Not 1 greyhound has ever been dumped in a rescue. Ignorance is your strong point. Racing dogs have a 95% adoption rate. By banning racing YOU are making thousands of dogs homeless. With adoption groups full and dog rescues overflowing with unwanted and abandoned dogs…WHERE do you think 10’s of thousands of greyhounds will go. Your asking for the immediate culling of a breed. Wake up! Farms will no longer be able to afford their upkeep. Adoption groups and fosters will be full to overflowing. Just where do you think all these animals will go? I have 7 fosters in my home now that have been here over 6 months. Two of the older dogs have been here over a year. You can’t snap your fingers and find a dog a new home. It takes time. Time greyhounds don’t have. Further more…where have you EVER seen a racing greyhound at a pet shop or listed for sale in the paper? You won’t. They are bred to run. The very fortunate few that are lucky enough to have a greyhound as a pet have a retired racer. In 15 years with lifespands exhausted, the racing Greyhound will become extinct and no one will have the fortune of having one as a pet ever again.

        1. Unless you can point us to some dead greyhounds, you really have no basis to challenge the 95% adoption rate.

          1. The pro-racing side makes up numbers out of whole cloth – this 95% adoption rate being one of them. If I claimed the rate was 55%, could you prove me wrong? Show me any kind of tracking, documentation, records, that support your claim.

            As for dead greyhounds, we have the state and track records documenting how many greyhounds are killed at the tracks. We can extrapolate injuries from the one track that is required to report them, and that is not a good look for the industry.

    3. Greyhounds are not “dumped in rescues.” They go to greyhound-specific adoption groups across the US and Canada for rehoming. Maybe instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on spreading propaganda, the people who claim to protect dogs could actually put that money to good use helping the dogs in high kill humane society shelters. I’m sure most of their donations come from people who actually think the money goes to help dogs.

    4. You’re right, Jackie, although you can see how your use of the word “dumped” upset those in the industry. It is perhaps more accurate to say that unprofitable greyhounds are abandoned by the industry. They like to point to adoption as a plus, but really they are only making a virtue of necessity since adoption wasn’t really a priority in the industry until the public began to find out what terrible fate awaited slow greyhounds.

    5. Using your own logic: If greyhound racing ceases, then there will be no need for greyhound “rescues.” Thus, if pet ownership ceases, there will be no need for pet “rescues.” Therefore, pet ownership is cruel and should be banned! Good grief! Greyhound adoption groups exist to help transition these retired athletes into loving homes. They are not “dumped.” In fact, for a number of groups the demand for retired greys outnumbers the available retired greys for adoption. AND, I might add, retired greyhound do not just end up in regular animal shelters like so many others dogs. Greyhounds have a higher adoption rate than other animal shelters/rescues and they are not euthanized.

      1. Show us documentation that demonstrates the adoption rate for greyhounds.

        You could not be more wrong about the ultimate fate of many greyhounds. Ask any rescue group and they will tell you about greyhounds they have pulled from municipal pounds or that have been found wandering, abandoned.

  2. money from out of state scam groups that dont spend anything on actually helping dogs, donate to local shelters only not National scam groups

      1. Freddie what about Greed2k and the HSUS from out of state running the scam your part of, you sure seem to be out of it, out of stater trying to change a constitution, talk about greed

      2. No. I think he’s talking about the Massachusetts group (2k, something or other), whose president (Christine Dorchak) is affiliated with the terror group Animal Liberation Front.

  3. Gee what a surprise that most of the money came from organizations that don’t care about the welfare of the dogs. Grey2k and the HSUS are scams and use lies and manipulates the people to get donations. Vote NO on 13.

    1. OK you’ll need to walk me through this. Organizations that don’t care about dogs are giving thousands of dollars to help dogs? That seems a little contradictory to me.

      1. A little contradictory are the financial statements for Grey2k and the HSUS where less than 1 percent of donations goes towards the care of the dogs and the majority of the donations goes towards salaries and lobbying expense.

      2. Fred, these so called dog protectors donate approx 1% of their total budget to animals…look up their website and checkout their tax reports, SAD… They do not plan to help the greyhounds if this amendment passes.

  4. This is called a “grass roots campaign” seems like there isn’t much support other than groups with agendas. The people of Florida are finally learning that these groups are not being truthful.
    #votenoon13

    1. The people of Florida are the ones out there gathering signatures, putting together campaign events, and you know, running the campaign. The people of Florida are realizing the lies and cruelty that has been going on at greyhound tracks for years and they’re not liking what they’re seeing.

      That’s why they will vote Yes on 13.

  5. The Protect Dogs Yes on 13 campaign is a grassroots effort with the goal of educating Florida voters about the realities of greyhound racing; the confinement, injuries, and deaths attributed to this archaic industry. There are hundreds of volunteers who have adopted greyhounds when the breeders and trainers no longer find them profitable. These volunteers speak from the heart, not their pocketbooks! #Yeson13.

    1. Don, it’s obvious that you haven’t been to a greyhound kennel and/or track. You probably are against horse racing too, where the horses aren’t adopted out and they are probably sent to the slaughter houses.

    2. Wait what that makes no sense Don. When the money is coming in from high dollar “nonprofit” out of state corporations which it says right in the article. Not from the people.

    3. Sorry Don another lie, Dont speak from the pocket book ? why is out of state money telling Florida what to do with their constitution, Grass roots mean “ordinary people regarded as the main body of an organization’s membership.” not ordinary people with national scam groups, every time you mention something it is not true Love Greyhounds? Vote No on 13, Dont believe the lies

  6. So all this money they raised will be wasted on campaign efforts. Why not actually use the money to help dogs in their overflowing shelters instead of euthanizing them? Their kill rates are horrible whereas greyhounds have a 98% adoption rate after retiring. Maybe these groups should look and see what the racing community does for their dogs and take a lesson on how to successfully run an adoption group.

    1. Maybe you should stop making up unbelievable claims like this “98% adoption rate.” The way you people keep making up numbers, the adoption rate is going to be 103% pretty soon.

  7. Funny how the groups that oppose dog racing tried to get service dogs ejected from an event which goes against the ADA, these anti groupsare dirty and think they are above the law, but lets see what the courts think

    1. “Hey, I know, let’s make vague statements about the people involved just to besmirch their efforts but without providing sufficient information for folks to actually uncover the truth!” Is that your thought process, Mike?

      1. you wouldnt know facts if they hit you in the face, what facts have the anti showed, nothing but pics from out of the country greyhounds, lies and deceitful ads

  8. OK, now I see where you’re confused. GREY2K is not an adoption group, although we do support adoption groups (I volunteer with two of them myself). We’re an advocacy group and we advocate for the end of greyhound racing worldwide. So while we indirectly support the “care” of greyhounds through our support of adoption groups, (which is also financial, among other things) we directly support the “care” of greyhounds through activities like the $55,000 we just gave to end greyhound racing in Florida. I hope this clears things up for you.

    1. There you have it directly from grey2k they don’t care about or for the greyhounds or they are just after ending racing. That 55k didn’t go to help the greyhounds it went to a PAC. they don’t care what happens to the dogs.

    2. Freddie you dont support adoption groups, 1% does not count as helping. yes pour money from out of state

    3. And don’t forget your affiliation with the terror group Animal Liberation Front. And don’t forget the fact that founder and president Christine Dorchak tried to use a failed suicide attempt in 1992 to swindle a half million dollars from the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. That Grey2k?

  9. It’s actually very clear that NGA greyhounds are neither abandoned or “dumped” – whether they have profitable careers or not. When an individual spends thousands of dollars raising one dog, it is ridiculous to claim that they are mistreated in any way. Incidentally, 100% of my dogs go to carefully selected homes at the end of their careers – whether or not they ever win a race. We invest in our dogs, and not in discredited groups such as HSUS, or the radical others such as PETA and the group from Massachusetts. We have repeatedly proposed legislation in Florida to improve racing safety, such as the Smith Act, but shills for out-of-state anti-racing groups were able to defeat these measures. You see, it isn’t about the dogs and their safety, at all. It’s about collecting donations from the uninformed, but well-meaning. It’s about expanding card room and slot machine gambling in Florida. Anti-racing people who take the initiative to learn the truth become racing advocates, again and again. Because for us who are Racing PROud, it is ALL ABOUT THE DOGS.

    Vote NO on Unlucky #13. Bad for Florida, and bad for the Greyhounds.

  10. “100% of my dogs go to carefully selected homes at the end of their careers –”

    In other words, I abandon them when they can no longer make money for me.

    1. No, Fred, you are confused. They are rehomed into ideal, carefully screened, homes. Abandoned dogs end up at the pound or on the side of the road. There is a waiting list for the dogs we raise, as there was for my Mother’s dogs. Incidentally, I pay for rehoming my beloved valuable dogs.

      1. Unfortunately, not all of your fellow greyhound owners/trainers follow the same principles when it comes to the greyhounds they don’t want any more. We’ve pulled greyhounds from shelters, we’ve had them turned in to us after they’ve been abandoned on the side of the road, and we’ve seen them handed “over the fence” to anyone willing to drive up and take them. Do you spay/neuter your greyhounds before you hand them off to someone? That’s a cost usually dumped on the adoption groups that take unwanted greyhounds in.

  11. Umm…perhaps you were distracted when reading my post. The 55k went to further the campaign to end greyhound racing in Florida because it’s detrimental to the welfare of greyhounds trapped in the industry. Hope this clears things up for you.

    1. Fred, repeating nonsense doesn’t make it factual. The money spent to end racing has nothing to do with the welfare of the dogs. It is spent to expand card room and slot machine gambling. Greyhound racing stands in the way of expanding these forms of gambling in Florida. I hope that helps you understand reality.

      1. Amen sister, Fred, Eric, that’s what we Christians say at the end of a prayer. Look prayer up if you don’t know what it means

        1. Why are you so hung up on your supposed religion, Andy? The topic is greyhound racing, not who’s a better Christian.

    2. Can you tell me how every penny of that was or is going to be spent to help an actual dog? Not just into some political committee to be spent on who knows what?

  12. Fred Barton and Eric Jackson. Two board members of a crazy animal activist group that sit on message boards daily to try to end racing, from Arizona and Michigan lmao! Ironically or maybe not since it’s a daily thing for this group is to steal others photos and posts and twist and turn them into their own money grab propaganda scheme. These two clowns are pathetic and so is the group they represent

  13. Don’t throw your arm out of joint patting yourself on the back. You’re making a virtue of necessity. You know those dogs would be gone one way or another when they stopped making you money.

  14. “The money spent to end racing has nothing to do with the welfare of the dogs.”

    I’m sorry, what? You’re going to have to walk me through that one.

  15. Not an actual dog, all the dogs. They money spent to educate Florida voters on the institutionalized cruelty of greyhound racing will help pass Prop 13. No racing, no cruelty.

    1. Maybe you should educated the public on ALL dogs that are placed in high kill shelters, and are really kept in cages all day unless there is a volunteer who can walk them. These dogs have pee and poo in their cages! That is CRUELTY!

      1. Pointing to municipal shelters and saying, “At least we’re not them!” is hardly a good argument. The greyhound industry has its own problems with cruelty and inhumane treatment. It may not be as bad as some shelters, but that’s hardly a virtue.

  16. “Freddie you dont support adoption groups…”

    Well, actually we do, but we have to do it surreptitiously because if the industry finds out they refuse to send dogs to those groups. Kind of makes you wonder how much they really care for greyhounds when they hold them hostage doesn’t it?

      1. Let’s remember that Fred teaches or taught at a college where a child molester was covered up for years and a professor was busted for beastiality.

    1. Wonder how much they donate to ANIMAL LIBERATION FRONT since they are affiliated with them Also, they care so much about dogs that they tried to get service animals ejected from Hob Nob.

  17. OK, here’s a fun fact for you. The full time paid staff of GREY2K is less than 10 people. Ten. And yet we are the most hated and feared anti-racing group out there. Just look at the comments about us and judge for yourself. Why? Because we’re successful, and even when we’re not we don’t give up. The racing industry cannot conceive of doing something, not for the money, but because it’s the right thing to do. They don’t understand us, so they call us names and assume we’re in this for the same reason they are–money. It’s their fatal mistake.

    1. No, Fred, you’re mistaken about the purpose of 13. It is to increase card room and slots gambling. The greyhounds stand in the way of expanding Florida gaming. That’s where the money for the anti-racing proposal was derived. It’s about increasing gambling.

  18. Didn’t know the industry was blackmailing adoption groups by keeping dogs away from them if they spoke out against racing? Sorry I had to be the one to tell you.

    1. But now we know your side is making death threats and labeling one on our side racist, not to mention trying to evict service dogs from hob nob, how repulsive can your side be, no doubt your side will stoop even lower

  19. Or, put another way: Let’s remember that no matter what we can never address the issue of cruelty to greyhounds directly, because if we do, all is lost.

  20. Your “logic” is similar to this: All men have hearts. Celery has hearts. Therefore, all men are celery. Greyhound adoption exists to save the dogs abandoned by the industry when they are no longer profitable.

  21. Fred, they are hated because they steal copyrighted material and manipulate it to get donations instead of showing the truth about how the dogs are truly treated humanely. The televangelist who said that God told him that he needs a private jet will get my money before Grey2k, HSUS and PETA. I urge all of my friends and family in Florida to vote NO on all of the proposed amendments.

    1. It’s been pretty well established that the material wasn’t copyrighted, and anyway if the dogs are humanely treated as you say, why are you upset that documentation provided by the industry itself was shown to the public. If that’s true, aren’t we helping to make your case?

  22. Because you’re so-called organization shows only snippets and not the whole picture. The material is stolen and altered from it’s original form to show lies in order to solicit donations.

  23. They are adopted (how can they be “rehomed” when they’ve never had a home) because the industry has abondoned them for being unprofitable.

  24. Fred, so providing the dogs with shelter food, water and caring for them until they are transported to be adopted is now abandoning them? Shaking my head at the twisted logic of Grey2k. I know adoption groups here in Michigan that can’t get dogs fast enough. Hence more support for the 98 percent adoption rate.

  25. Fred, your logic is messed up. They are transported because the owners and operators want to see their dogs in loving homes. My question to you is why hasn’t Grey2k accepted the challenge to a debate? I actually know why, because their lies will be exposed and their donations will drop. After all it’s all about the money.

    1. “They are transported because the owners and operators want to see their dogs in loving homes.”

      Don’t throw your arm out of joint patting yourself on the back. You’re making a virtue of necessity because those dogs would be gone anyway. The industry only began to care about adoption once the public found out what happens to dogs who aren’t profitable anymore. As for debate, we have. I remember Jack Corey and Carey debating a couple months back on a local radio station.

      1. ” A local radio station”, forgot to mention the one where Carey had his ass handed to him so he cried until they didn’t air it. He has been chasllenged repeatedly to a debate by John Parker but all we hear is crickets…..

  26. I know you folks want to talk about anything except how greyhounds are treated in racing gulags, but do you really think the voters are going to make up their minds one way or another based on unfounded accusations, innuendo and name-calling?

  27. Fred, you are right that more healthy greyhounds were put down than adopted out, but that was 20 – 25 years ago. Now through education and awareness about how great these dogs are, there is a 98 percent adoption rate. By educating the Florida voters with the truth instead of the Grey2k and HSUS broken record the voters will not pass ammendment 13 in November.

    1. Yeah, except that the “education and awareness” was on the part of the public who then put pressure on the industry to clean up its act, so like I said, virtue out of necessity. As for the 98%, to be polite, that figure is somewhat in dispute.

  28. Fred, the lies about abuse and the living conditions of the dogs that Grey2k and HSUS claim, are way more in dispute than the 98 percent adoption rate. Just the financial statements alone show how much the organizations truly care about the animals.

      1. Kind of hard to dispute grey2k’s affiliation with ALF when Dorchak was keynote speaker and her picture is on their website, isn’t it?

  29. Eric, we do bear the expense of rehoming our dogs. Nothing is “dumped” on the adoption group. Most greyhound owners similarly care for their retired racers.

    Please give me the tattoo numbers and dates of the “abandoned” dogs taken from shelters and the side of the road. I am glad to follow up on any substantiated claims of any mistreatment of any greyhound. Thank you in advance for your prompt response!

  30. If the legislature wanted to increase card rooms and slots they could have done that with decoupling. Prop 13 made it through the process because it’s all about the treatment of innocent greyhounds trapped in racing gulags all across the state.

  31. Not buying it. I volunteer with two adoption groups and we routinely get greyhounds in need of medical care that has to be taken care of on our dime. From basic spay/neuter and shots up to tick born diseases and soft tissue injuries not treated it’s all on us. And don’t even get me started about dental care and the emotional baggage those dogs come off the track with.

  32. Point of fact; attempts to decouple have repeatedly failed in the Florida legislature. It was purely the result of questionable financial dealings by some appointed members of the Constitutional Revision Committee that this end run around the legislature was attempted. The CRC did not have to answer to constituents for the “donations” they accepted to violate Florida’s Constitution with numerous special-interest group funded proposals. The giving of “contributions” in exchange for political favors is otherwise known as bribery. It is an unacceptable, unethical practice that made a mockery of the entire CRC process.

    If decoupling was beneficial for Florida’s taxpayers, then it would have passed through the legislative process. It hasn’t because greyhound racing provides Florida with millions in tax revenue, thousands of employment opportunities, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships for Florida’s students.

    Your new, frequent, use of the term “gulag” is also factually incorrect. Gulags were human labor camps that existed in the Soviet Union until the 1950’s. No comparison to greyhounds living in climate-controlled kennels, fed high-quality diets, provided with adequate rest and exercise, and excellent veterinary care whenever needed. Your comment suggests that the University of Florida athletes are also living in a “gulag” situation. How far from the truth that characterization falls.

  33. You give us more credit that we deserve. Don’t you think if we were able to “bribe” the CRC we would have done that with politicians years ago? Under your scenario stuffing a few highly placed pockets in the legislature would have ended greyhound racing without having to go through all the effort and expense of putting it on the ballot.

    As for gulags I agree with your description of them as labor camps because that’s exactly what they are. Greyhound labor is exploited for profit and then used dogs are discarded by the industry when they no longer make money.

    1. Again, spurious arguments don’t pass for reality. Elected members of the Florida Legislature are compelled by law to report contributions. Appointed members of the CRC are not subject to the same constraints.

      Greyhounds are well cared for and loved from birth through their racing lives. Owners and reputable adoption groups go to great lengths to ensure they receive excellent care after retirement. An important aspect of raising greyhounds is knowing they will ultimately become pets. We cherish them, their every need is met, and we ensure they are placed in appropriate homes after retirement. You can call it “discarded”, “dumped”, or “abandoned”, but your characterizations are far from truth. Simply more rhetoric from someone with a different agenda than the safety and well-being of these noble dogs. We, who love them and provide for them, know the truth.

      I would like to think that our military service men and women would have such a plan for their futures after they serve our Nation. Of course, one only needs look at those statistics to see that we greyhound owners do a far better job of caring for retired racers than society does of caring for our Nation’s veterans.

      Vote NO on Unlucky 13. Bad for Florida and bad for the greyhounds.

  34. Clearly you were out of town when the Supreme Court upheld Citizens United.

    As for cherishing your greyhounds, I find it hard to believe that an industry that commodifies and exploits helpless greyhounds by regularly putting them in harm’s way for profit, then abandons them when they no longer make money cherishes anything except the dollar.

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