Kevin Rader files bill to legalize steroids in racing dogs


A Democratic state Senator from South Florida has filed legislation expressly allowing dog trainers to give anabolic steroids to racing greyhounds.

The bill (SB 1774), filed Friday afternoon by Kevin Rader of Delray Beach, is for the 2018 Legislative Session that begins Tuesday. In Florida, live dog racing is still conducted at 12 tracks.

The measure otherwise bans steroid use on dogs “unless such steroids are used for birth control for the greyhound or the steroids are otherwise prescribed by a veterinarian licensed in this state who used the steroids to treat an injury or an illness, and the veterinarian is not employed by a greyhound permitholder.”

State regulators already permit steroids; Rader’s bill would put using steroids as a form of birth control into state statute, if passed. Rader, elected to the Senate in 2016 after serving in the House, was not available at his office Monday.

The legislation also includes some provisions from a draft bill circulated last year by the Florida Greyhound Association, which represents breeders and owners. They include “maintaining a safe track surface” and “insulating all exposed electrical wires on the track.”

The draft went further, however, allowing trace amounts – or “environmental levels” – of cocaine and other “prohibited substances” in dogs.

Rader’s bill also would pre-empt “regulation of the welfare of racing greyhounds to the state and supersedes any municipal or county ordinance on the subject.”

That would include a recent Seminole County ordinance. Among other things, the local law requires public reporting of greyhound injuries at Sanford Orlando Kennel Club, and puts the licensing and inspection of dogs and kennels under the county.

“This is a slap in the face to every volunteer who collected signatures for the Greyhound Protection Act ordinance in Seminole County,” said Carla Wilson, volunteer campaign manager of the Committee to Protect Greyhounds, in a statement.

“We collected 14,000 signatures with an all-volunteer effort, and are proud to have passed this humane proposal,” she added. “It’s outrageous that some politician from South Florida is trying to invalidate the greyhound welfare reforms we fought for in our county.”

But Jack Cory, spokesman and lobbyist for the Florida Greyhound Association, which represents breeders and owners, has said “animal safety is and always has been our No. 1 issue.” Rader’s bill moves his group’s concerns “one step further.” The Association also is challenging the Seminole ordinance in court.

Last week’s bill comes shortly after an administrative law judge struck down the state’s dog testing program, saying it was “invalid,” and causing regulators to file a temporary rule to allow them to keep testing racing greyhounds for drugs.

The Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, which regulates gambling in Florida, also asked Judge Lawrence P. Stevenson to reconsider his ruling.

Moreover, a proposed state constitutional amendment is in the works—backed by GOP state Sen. Tom Lee of Hillsborough County—that would ban greyhound racing in Florida.

Updated 1:30 p.m. — Cory adds in a follow-up email: “These are NOT performance enhancing steroids. This would meet the best practices as recommended by The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI).

“We fully expect very radical out-of-state animal rights groups, that take care of no animals in the state of Florida, to oppose the bill in their usual hysterical manner of half-truths, innuendos and some out-and-out lies,” he added, including the association’s long-time opponent, GREY2K USA Worldwide.

“Sen. Rader should be complemented for this common sense legislation designed to prevent injuries and make racing greyhounds safer.”

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Fred Barton

    January 8, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    The only reason to give female greyhounds steroids is so they can more effectively exploited. Even the industry’s own hand book, Care of the Racing & Retired Greyhound, anabolic steroids can cause serious side effects. I’m sorry Mr. Rader has put politics ahead of the welfare of thousands of greyhounds.

    I am a Board member of GREY2K USA Worldwide, an organization that fights to save these marvelous creatures all over the globe. (you can learn more about us here: I have fostered and adopted rescued racing greyhounds since 1995. I cannot imagine abandoning any of them when they become injured, old or sick and yet this is routinely what happens to them at operating tracks and will continue to happen as long as racing is allowed to exist.
    Fred Barton
    Board Member
    GREY2K USA Worldwide

    • Sharon Dippel

      January 9, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      Fred- I run GSTs Sun State Greyhound Adoption. We are responsible for finding homes for retired racers. Who is abandoning injured, old, or sick hounds. Every dog on my track that comes through our group finds a home. Stick to facts and stop the inflammatory comments that have no basis.

      • Fred Barton

        January 10, 2018 at 7:51 am

        I’m glad your groups is able to find homes for all the refugees that come through you. I wish all greyhounds were as lucky as those you help. Unfortunately the industry casts off far too many each year to be saved by rescue alone.

  • Chris Grieb

    January 9, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Christ Almighty, there are some dense people among us. Females are administered an infinitesimal amount of the male hormone testosterone; while TECHNICALLY it is considered a ‘steroid’ it’s entirely dissimilar to anabolic steroids. It is simply a hormone.

    Would all the women who read this, including you Fred Barton, raise your hand if you’ve ever used birth control? Ok, well, good… because that’s all this once a month used hormone is. Both control. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Brian Brady

    January 9, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    can always count on Fred Barton to provide the half truths, innuendo and out and out lies Mr Cory speaks of.

    • Fred Barton

      January 9, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      But why do greyhounds need birth control? So they can be exploited all the time, not just when they aren’t cycling. That’s the point you so conveniently ignore.

      • Brian Brady

        January 10, 2018 at 6:29 am

        Fred Barton, your organization raised around 600k in 2016. total salaries paid was around 250k. That is considerably more than the majority of the people in the greyhound industry are compensated. So tell me again Mr Barton, who is exploiting the greyhound industry?

      • Patricia Saul

        January 11, 2018 at 5:12 pm

        So what about show dogs that may be given birth control for upcoming shows? These dogs are just as valuable as racing greyhounds. Why don’t you consider those dogs as exploited Fred Barton.

        • Fred Barton

          January 12, 2018 at 7:29 am

          Who said I didn’t? But as usual you attempt to change the subject.

  • Stacey

    January 9, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    For being a professor of writing…Mr. Barton has been getting awfully sloppy in his postings lately. Also can’t seem to post anything without a back link to that website that takes you straight to a donate button, so about $0.40 off the top of every dollar can go to salaries.

    • Fred Barton

      January 10, 2018 at 7:48 am

      I appreciate your attempt to change the subject and I realize you do it because to confront the reality of the cruelty of your industry would cause you to ask uncomfortable questions about your own humanity, but let’s stick to the subject: endangering the health of female greyhounds so you can keep making money off of them

      • Scott James

        January 10, 2018 at 10:46 am

        I’m assuming you have proof to back up this claim of birth control & injury treatment endangering a dogs life?
        Seems a bit counter productive to endanger the dogs life if the only reason people have them for is to make money doesn’t it?

        • Fred Barton

          January 10, 2018 at 4:37 pm

          This is what your own literature says:
          According to Care of the Racing & Retired Greyhound, anabolic steroids can cause serious side effects. These include:
          Increased aggression which can result in fighting during trialing and racing
          Increased weight due to water retention
          Occasional loss of vigor

          And by the way, this is about the 10th time I’ve had to post this information. You folks really should read your own stuff.

          • Patricia Saul

            January 11, 2018 at 5:25 pm

            You cited your go-to source which states it “can cause serious side effects.” However you and your group always fail to follow with proof of it actually documented in a living greyhound. Cite your source as proof of these side effects have been found. And you should use more than one source. Even the flu shot has some serious side effects. What kennels, trainers, and adoption groups have come across females with these side effects?

          • Fred Barton

            January 12, 2018 at 7:27 am

            Perhaps you should Google moving the goal[posts. Why do you think even your own literature would caution against steroids if there wasn’t evidence it was harmful?

      • Ruth Hagenbaugh

        January 10, 2018 at 11:26 am

        Females getting birth control is not endangering them. Do you want them to not have these steroids and go into heat and cause havoc in the kennels? Is that a better solution for you? Not all greyhounds that race “make money” for their owners. Any money that is made goes right back into the care and upkeep of the greyhounds. Owners have to buy food, pay vet bills, pay the kennels for keeping their dogs there. You think they get rich from racing their dogs? You better think again. Greyhounds love to run. They have no idea they are running to win a race. Dogs can’t think that way. They just love to run. If you think racing is bad now, it will be horrible if it is banned. There will be underground racing where the greyhounds will not be watched and regulated and there will be cruelty and neglect. Just like pit bull fighting. There will always be bad guys trying to make a quick buck. Now the greyhounds are protected by the NGA and they all get vet care and go into adoption. You really have no idea. You are not there. You just assume and you know what they say about people that ASSume? You really don’t know anything about racing. Stop acting like you are a know it all. You are not.

        • Fred Barton

          January 10, 2018 at 12:18 pm

          “Do you want them to not have these steroids and go into heat and cause havoc in the kennels? ”

          Thank you for helping me make my point. “Havoc” in the kennels would result in lost racing days and decreased productivity and profit. Hence the need for birth control. Let’s go to the dictionary:

          noun: exploitation; plural noun: exploitations 1.the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.

    • Fred Barton

      January 10, 2018 at 7:48 am

      See reply to Mr. Brady.

      • Brian Brady

        January 10, 2018 at 11:01 am

        I don’t see how I changed the subject Fred Barton, your comment was about the exploitation of greyhounds. So was mine.

        • Fred Barton

          January 10, 2018 at 11:18 am

          Google false equivalency.

          • Brian Brady

            January 10, 2018 at 11:30 am

            You are correct Fred, they are not equal. You are talking about greyhound owners exploiting greyhounds for hundreds of dollars and I am talking about your group exploiting greyhounds for hundreds of thousands of dollars

          • Fred Barton

            January 10, 2018 at 12:14 pm

            You know, I’ve never understood this argument from you folks. You accuse us of making money off an industry we’re trying to shut down. Does that sound like a logical business plan to you? It’d be like GM investing all its money in bicycles.

      • Ruth Hagenbaugh

        January 10, 2018 at 3:04 pm

        exploitations 1.the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.
        And there you have it. SOMEONE. A dog is not a someone, it is an animal. Greyhounds are not exploited. You always talk around any subject you can’t honestly answer. No one was talking about exploiting anyone yet here you are, changing the subject. Just be a man and admit you have no argument for not wanting females to go in heat. Besides, greyhounds only race once a week. You talk like they are raced every day. Like I said, you’re not there. You don’t have a clue.

        • Fred Barton

          January 10, 2018 at 3:46 pm

          You put too fine a point on it, especially since one of your own industy’s arguments is that we should take care of horse racing and puppy mills before coming for you. So you’ve already admitted that animals can be exploited. Just not your animals I guess.

          • Ruth Hagenbaugh

            January 11, 2018 at 6:17 pm

            I never said greyhounds were exploited. Don’t you dare put words in my mouth. Greyhounds are not exploited. How can a dog that is running for the love of it be exploited? They have no idea they are racing. You can talk crap till you are blue in the face and you will never understand the truth.

          • Fred Barton

            January 12, 2018 at 7:33 am

            How can a dog that is running for the love of it be exploited?

            Because that love has been co-opted by people who want to make money off it by putting those dogs in an artificial (and dangerous) environment. Of course they don’t know they are running to make money for you, but you do, and thus you are the exploiter.

          • Ruth Hagenbaugh

            January 12, 2018 at 8:21 pm

            I am not an owner of a racing greyhound. Never said I was. I support the racing industry as it keeps the greyhounds doing what they love best, running. There is nothing cruel in a greyhound running. If that is the case then every greyhound owner should never be allowed to let their greyhounds run in open fields, fenced in areas or lure coursing. Letting the dogs do what they have been bred to do for years is what is right. Stopping them from running is cruelty.

          • Fred Barton

            January 13, 2018 at 7:26 am

            Greyhounds don’t need the industry to run. The industry needs them to race and make money. Whether you own a greyhound or not if you support that cruelty you are part of it.

          • Ruth Hagenbaugh

            January 13, 2018 at 11:58 am

            I support greyhounds racing, which they love to do and I’m part of the cruelty? What cruelty? Letting them run which they love and want to do is cruel? You sir, have your head up your ass. Stopping them from running is cruel and you are the cruelty in this case by wanting to end what they love to do. Just because people bet on them doesn’t make it cruel. I can bet on my own dogs with my neighbors when they run in the yard and that does not make it cruel. Money has nothing to do with how they run or how they are treated. I have 4 retired racers in my home and I’ve fostered many. They still race, yes I said RACE around the yard. So is that cruelty because they still race each other? Oh it’s not cruel because no one bet on them. You are a fool and everyone else in grey2crazy is to. Get lives and get jobs instead of pleading for money from stupid saps that believe your lies. You are the problem, not the racing industry.

          • Fred Barton

            January 14, 2018 at 8:10 am

            I hope you’re just saying that to be stubborn and don’t really believe there’s no cruelty in greyhound racing. Even the industry admits that, although they like to ascribe it to a few “bad apples” rather than admit it’s part of the system. I understand that to admit you are part of an industry that routine abuses, injures and kills innocent living creatures for money would cause you to have to ask some uncomfortable questions about your own humanity, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

  • Js

    January 10, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Fred Barton,

    If Grey2k is a true non profit, why are it’s top execs taking a salary? Not only that, a healthy salary which could be used towards your cause.

    Any member of a non profit drawing a salary is a wolf in sheep’s clothing exploiting the non profit sector and the supporters of the organization.

    Here’s a news flash. These greyhounds are cared for with the utmost premium accommodations and nutrition.

    You sir are a hypocrite


    • Fred Barton

      January 10, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      You really don’t know much about non-profits, do you? Stick to mouthing the more common industry dodges.

  • Scott James

    January 10, 2018 at 10:41 am

    & right on cue, the lies & 1/2 truths begin.
    The line about a politician putting politics ahead of welfare is truly a case of hypocricy of the highest degree.
    Your reputation proceeds you Fred & the whole worlds eyes are open to you, your partners & your organisations deceptions.
    Live it up while you can matey, the light you see is the end of the tunnel & your gravy train.

  • Brian Brady

    January 10, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    I really can’t answer to the business model. If I were to speculate I would say that the group’s real mission is to not in fact eliminate greyhound racing, but quite the contrary, to continue to raise funds, appearing to support ending the industry while secretly celebrating any loss that will allow for another fundraising drive. One mans opinion. I am hopeful that this conversation leads people to review your financials prior to donating. Thank you

    • Fred Barton

      January 10, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Yeah. Except we don’t lose that often. That’s why the industry hates and fears us so much and spends so much time trying to discredit us. And they’re right to do so, because we’re chipping away, chipping away, chipping away. They hear it. Can you?

  • jack miller

    January 10, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Everytime Fred Barton comments on another post starting from 1/10 at 5:10pm I’m betting $50 on a orange park or palm beach race. Enjoy!

  • Dick Ciampa

    January 11, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    The ARCI approves giving low levels of testosterone to female racing greyhounds. While Grey2K, Rep. Smith and Fred Barton may not like it, it is perfectly legal.

    If you want to see what an anti-racing person found out about greyhound racing go to

    • Fred Barton

      January 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      Legal but not humane. Your own literature, Care of the Racing & Retired Greyhound, even admits that.

  • Anne E. Roche

    January 11, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    First to address the steroids: greyhounds do not compete until they are about two years old. This means their racing life is only two to three years. Females cannot compete for ninety days when in estrus, which may occur twice a year. So they are given minute amounts of testosterone to block the estrus cycle during their racing career. This amount does not affect their racing ability or health; as is also the case for human females who backpack through remote areas of Asia, or volunteer in third world countries, where feminine hygiene products are non-existant. This is a common practice.
    Second: I did not see anyone, other than myself and my attorney, in the galley of the recent hearings involving the cocaine levels. There was expert environmental contamination testimony concerning this situation. It has been proven, scientifically, that all American paper money is widely contaminated with cocaine. Everyone is exposed to this, which is why fair levels of contamination are set for people being drug tested for employment. I saw none of you there to witness pictures taken of the state employees, who take the urine samples from the racing greyhounds, using unsterilized gloves and wiping their noses with same gloves. Nor did any of you witness open doors and unlocked freezers, where these samples were supposed to be protected! How would you like to be held legally responsible for the negligence of others, whose actions you have no control over?
    Third: These alleged cocaine samples were sent to a DNA laboratory in California, and lo and behold, there was NO CANINE DNA found in these cocaine contaminated samples????? How does this happen? How far does this conspiracy go to discredit an industry of hard working people, who have sacrificed more than you will ever know, to preserve a way of life that none of you would last a month working in. These are families who are dedicated to these truly magnificent athletes, 24 hrs. a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! Before you pass judgement on what you obviously know nothing about, before you “drink the kool-aid”, educate yourself on the rhetoric you are being fed.

  • jack miller

    January 11, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    That’s a $50 win on jibber jabber at palm beach. Thanks for commenting Fred!!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704