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Silver screen star Doris Day’s group gives dog racing ban a boost

Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban greyhound racing at Florida dog tracks got a $1.5 million boost from a foundation established by Doris Day, the critter-loving movie star who’s devoted much of her life to rescuing animals.

The Doris Day Animal League made the contribution last week to the Committee to Protect Dogs, a group backing the ballot measure known as Amendment 13, according to committee co-chairwoman Kate MacFall.

The money will be spent on a $1.85 million ad buy, starting in October, for advertising spots in the Tampa, Miami and Orlando media markets.

“Truly this is a turning point, and a very positive turning point, for the campaign, that Doris Day made this a priority and her generosity to help the greyhounds,” MacFall told The News Service of Florida on Friday.

MacFall, who also serves as state director for The Humane Society of the United States, said a majority of Floridians support the amendment when they learn more about the issue.

MacFall and other backers of Amendment 13 are hoping Day’s money and the ads will help the proposal reach the 60 percent threshold required for constitutional amendments to pass.

“It’s an exciting time for us because we know, from our polling, that when Florida voters know dogs are confined 20 to 23 hours a day, they’re being injured, and one dog is being killed every three days, they will support Amendment 13. It’s just making that connection,” she said.

The committee secured the pre-election advertising time on Friday, a day after opponents of the proposal tried to persuade a Tallahassee judge to strip the amendment from the November ballot. The Florida Greyhound Association, which represents breeders, owners and trainers, contends the ballot title and summary are misleading. A ruling has not yet been issued.

MacFall accused the greyhound industry of “a desperate attempt” to keep voters from deciding on the racing issue. “We feel really confident that it will go favorably for our side,” she said.

Republished with permission of The News Service of Florida.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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