On dog racing, national greyhound group says seeing is believing
Photo: Van Abernethy

Greyhounds racing

The National Greyhound Association on Tuesday said it would offer tours of “three Florida greyhound tracks and their on-site kennels.”

The two-hour guided tours, free with advance registration, are “designed to promote transparency and educate the public about the care of greyhounds at the track, as well as stewardship of the breed,” according to a press release. 

“Tour guests will get an intimate understanding of the facilities, sleeping spaces, feeding, care and daily routine that racing greyhounds experience,” said Jim Gartland, the association’s executive director. 

Derby Lane, located in St. Petersburg, and the Palm Beach Kennel Club, located in West Palm Beach, will be the first two tracks to open their doors.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to separate fact from fiction about the lives of these canine athletes,” Gartland added. 

A proposed state constitutional amendment banning betting on live dog racing in Florida was struck from the November ballot by a Tallahassee judge after a challenge from the Florida Greyhound Association.

The state appealed, which put an automatic stay on the ruling, essentially meaning the measure stays on the ballot till the state’s Supreme Court says otherwise.

Amendment 13, slotted for the ballot by the 2017-18 Constitution Revision Commission, would need at least 60 percent approval to be added to the state constitution, like other proposed changes to the state’s governing document. 

Gartland said dog owners and breeders want to show people “that racing greyhounds eat, sleep, work and play in a way that correlates very closely to the world of our family pets. That’s one of the reasons why racers make such great pets when they retire.”

He said more than 95 percent of all racing greyhounds are either retired back to a farm or placed in adoptive homes when their racing careers end. Over the past three decades, more than 150,000 retired racers have become pets.

“Greyhounds are known for their gentle, loving dispositions, and they are accustomed to being around people and other dogs, so they are well suited to life in homes with children and multiple pets,” the release said. 

Derby Lane tours are available on selected Saturdays in September and October. Palm Beach Kennel Club tours are available on selected Thursdays in September and October. 

Daytona Beach Kennel Club dates will be available on the website once they have been determined. A complete tour schedule and online registration is available here

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Featured photo is courtesy of Van Abernethy.

Staff Reports


42 comments

  • Joe T

    August 21, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Go see the truth. Dont believe the Lies from out of state lobbyist and the ones they paid off

  • Bruce D Walters

    August 21, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    I would not be surprise if the antis try to slip the dogs a poisoned treat, then try to blame it on the industry.

    • Mary Beth Constante

      August 21, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      They will make people sign agreements beforehand and will have everyone’s information at registration.

  • Trudy Baker

    August 22, 2018 at 5:34 am

    How about letting anyone visit the kennels unannounced – that would give a true reflection of the lives these working dogs have to endure? How about inviting the public into the vet’s room when a dog has been injured – that would give a true reflection of how these dogs suffer from racing on dangerous tracks? And how about a publicly accessible database that lists every greyhound bred for the industry and their fate or fortune? The question that needs to be asked is why does the industry operate behind a veil of secrecy – just what does it have to hide?

    • julie morrison

      August 22, 2018 at 6:18 am

      EXACTLY

    • Anne

      August 22, 2018 at 9:11 am

      There is nothing to hide and to allow unannounced visits would disrupt the routine of the kennels and dogs. They are extremely busy on racing days. As an owner of a few racers I have been behind the scenes in all aspects and if I thought for one moment any were being mistreated, I would be the first to holler. They LOVE the dogs and it shows !

    • Leslie C

      August 22, 2018 at 9:14 am

      Trudy- Because the state has rules about kennel visits for the safety of the dogs. Because kennels are private property and not public parks. Would you let strangers into your home unannounced? Access to your dogs? Children? Or maybe it’s because animal rights extremists have been known to go as far as to injure, maim, deface and destroy. The kennel visits are the first step to pulling back that curtain. Why does it have to be about hiding anything?

      • Trudy Baker

        August 22, 2018 at 11:33 am

        Yes I would let a member of the public – law enforcer or lawmakers into my home unannounced if there were accusations as to the way I treated my children or dogs. Why wouldn’t I? I would be only too pleased to prove my innocence and so should the industry if they had nothing to hide.

        • Dick Ciampa

          August 22, 2018 at 2:08 pm

          Trudy,

          If you are okay with public officials going into the kennels your wishes have been answered. Since 2008 greyhound kennels, horse barns, slot machine facilities, including cardrooms have had 41,706 inspections. I would think the horse and greyhounds got more inspections since they involve animals, but I don’t know that so let’s divide this evenly. We’ll make the slots and cardrooms two separate entries so we have four distinct facilities. If you divide the 41,706 by 4 you would have 10,427. So each year would have 1042 inspections from state officials at greyhound kennels.

          • Trudy Baker

            August 23, 2018 at 1:57 pm

            So thats a ‘no’ – members of the public and lawmakers are not welcome to visit unnanounced. Thanks for clearing that up.

        • Leslie C

          August 22, 2018 at 4:13 pm

          Trudy- Sure, law enforcers and inspectors do inspections unannounced and randomly every month or more. Track owners and officials do weekly unannounced walk thrus. State investigators check in kennels whenever a complaint is made. The tours above are for educating the public.

        • Joseph Benedict

          August 24, 2018 at 5:55 pm

          Trudy,
          So, how many have you adopted?

          • Trudy Baker

            August 25, 2018 at 10:49 am

            I have cared for 8 greyhounds over the past 18 years. 3 are still with me the others lived until 12-14 years. All no longer deemed profitable and therefore a waste product of the industry.

        • George Bova

          August 26, 2018 at 7:22 am

          I’m not sure what Trudy is saying about her own home but the only place I know of where you’re allowed to show up unannounced anytime and sniff anywhere is a bordello.

    • Kathi

      August 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      You can’t show up aun-announced because it’s not an ammusment park. There is a lot of work and schedules to keep. Animals on a routine. Sanford-Orlando has been transparent and will continue to be. Contact us and we will work with you on a time convenient to both parties.

  • Jack Habershan

    August 22, 2018 at 7:56 am

    As the owner of two Greyhounds, I can attest to the fact that track racing is not “healthy” by any means.
    A close friend and track vets treats a plethora of heart attacks, strokes, heat exhaustion and many track injuries, the reason one of my dogs was retired. No, I am not a PETA freak, but a loving dog owner that has seen what goes on behind the scenes.

    • Andy

      August 22, 2018 at 10:01 am

      Tell us where and when this has occurred then, more of the same ” I saw I heard,’ with zero evidence to back it up.

      • Jeff White

        August 22, 2018 at 1:06 pm

        You can be sure all the dogs will be made to look happy and the sick and injured ones evacuated to other locations. They might even take the muzzles off the dogs while they are in their cages! What a cynical PR stunt this is. The racing industry is obviously running scared.

        • George Bova

          August 22, 2018 at 1:28 pm

          Those Floridians with an open mind will be the informed voters because they want to see how Florida’s racing Greyhounds are actually treated. And the bonus? The dogs will love every single one of them.

          But how sad are some close-minded animal lovers… Not trusting what the Amendment 13 judge herself ruled is the law’s #OutrightTrickeration being served by leaders of “protect dogs” on their own supporters, nor willing to believe their own lying eyes either. Very sad.

        • Andy

          August 22, 2018 at 1:29 pm

          It’s your side running scared, now that OUTRIGHT TRICKERATION has been divulged

          • George Bova

            August 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm

            Sorry Andy but the judge was talking about Pam Bondi and the Florida CRC; that’s YOUR leadership getting smacked down. Facts matter.

          • Andy

            August 22, 2018 at 2:27 pm

            I am on your side Mr Bova

        • Jim

          August 22, 2018 at 6:04 pm

          Jeff- the dogs always have their muzzles off while in the create. They put them on while all the dogs are out together to protect them. That’s just common sense. Maybe you should use some!

          • Trudy Baker

            August 23, 2018 at 1:59 pm

            Protect them from what?

          • Jim

            August 23, 2018 at 2:38 pm

            Trudy- to protect them if they get in a scuffle. They have very thin skin so a bite can cause a bit of damage. Are you really this clueless? Stop posting if you don’t understand the basic care of a racing greyhound!

          • Catherine

            August 23, 2018 at 2:39 pm

            …to protect them from injury when playing with the other hounds! They have thin skin. I have retired hounds and muzzle them when they play with others. for SAFETY. Geez, you are so focused on finding fault when the opportunity to see the truth is being offered.

          • Trudy Baker

            August 23, 2018 at 4:13 pm

            I understand perfectly how racing greyhounds are kept in captivity – unable to socialise with other greyhounds and therefore unable to create a hierarchy as they would do naturally in a domestic environment.

          • George Bova

            August 23, 2018 at 5:12 pm

            It seems Trudy Baker needs to sign up for a Florida kennel visit most of anyone posting here. Racing Greyhounds may be the most socialized dogs in the entire world as any true animal lover would instantly recognize from the DOZENS of wagging tails they possess.

  • Anne

    August 22, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Why don’t you focus on dog fighting, puppy mills and backyard breeders ? Racing is highly regulated and inspected.
    My dog LOVES to do what the the greyhounds were born to do and is very much loved and taken care of by the kennel who loves him!

  • Andy's buddy

    August 22, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Isnt it wondeful to have staged viewing days where you have to announce yourself before coming to the show..lol.. Why dont all 17 facilities have viewing days? Its because they dont care about racing. They want it gone too. Only one ponied up money the other 16 stay out of the fight. NEXT….

    • George Bova

      August 22, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      Are you alleging the Florida gaming regulators aren’t making surprise inspections of their own? Isn’t that their JOB??? There is plenty of evidence of testing irregularities within the department including the debunked allegations of cocaine abuse — it was in all the papers, “Andy’s buddy” who can’t spell. Wouldn’t objective Floridians want their attorney general to investigate and root out such corruption? It’s Pam Bondi’s responsibility so no surprise nothing has happened. Here is the real corruption — vote her out, or maybe impeach?

    • Andy

      August 22, 2018 at 5:31 pm

      Well hello degenerate strip joint owner, hey, you NEVER DID TELL US THE DATE THE LEGISLATURE PUT 3 ON THE BALLOT. You won’t even mention it because you will be admitting your ignorance on the matter. You really are stupid, maybe ingesting too many drugs in the degenerate world you inhabit. Why don’t all 17 have viewing days you ask? Perhaps because there are only 11 tracks in Florida. YET AGAIN you demonstrate your stupidity. Your sham amendment is DEAD.

  • Paula

    August 22, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Well bred racing Greyhounds are expensive.
    To the trainer and helpers who care for them, keeping the dogs kennel routine on a predictable schedule is imparitive, much like an Olympian athlete.
    An offer to view the insides of a working kennel are made in good faith, and people want to just drop in when they feel like it? It disrespects the dogs themselves.
    Employees are finger printed and background checked. Kennels have unannounced inspections by track and state officials. In a good faith agreement, trainers are trying to give tours to the public- and you want more? Name any competitive professional sport business that does that. Even Trainers leave the kennels to let their dogs rest.
    Trainers and helpers can often work 15 hour days, no holidays off, and constant planning for what each individual greyhound needs, what the racing secretary needs, and what your kennel help needs.
    Take the tour of the kennel, please don’t wear perfume or cologne, ask intelligent questions.
    Respect goes both ways.

    • Andy

      August 22, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      It the degenerate strip club owner took a tour, intelligent questions would be quite impossible, simply because he continues to demonstrate extreme stupidity.

  • Debbie

    August 23, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    My past 5 greyhounds all retired racers, beg to differ. My present grey has been terribly abused. 9 months of being in our home and we still have many hurdles to overcome. In fairness to Florida tracks, my dogs were not from Florida.

    • George Bova

      August 23, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      The retired racers I’ve adopted and fostered from Florida are no different from any other Greyhound I’ve encountered; well-socialized and sweet personalities who are friendly with everyone including complete strangers. As an adoption volunteer and ambassador Greyhound owner, I’ve been around more than my share of Greyhounds so I find your post completely at odds to my real experience — especially since you fail to provide a single detail (or even your last name) to judge your post’s authenticity, “Debbie.”

  • Dave

    August 23, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    My retired racer told me the other day that he liked living with me but that he’d had it better at the track. Said he’d had his own sleeping compartment, he got his meals on time all the time – many times with real meat – and he got to go out and run with his buddies every day; said he’d had a life then.

  • Jim

    August 23, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Trudy- you are delusional. It also appears that you are from the UK. That tells me you have absolutely zero experience with Florida tracks. I don’t know what happens in the UK and am positive that you have no idea about the Florida tracks. So please keep your comments to any UK posts as you have no knowledge of the U.S and have no business posting what you may know about English tracks on this forum. When I said earlier that you were clueless? I think that’s just been proven add a fact! Post your agenda there, not here!

    • Trudy Baker

      August 23, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      Dog racing relies on the same cruel practices worldwide for its profits – whether it be Florida – Australia or the UK. It will always depend on selective breeding and wastage of puppies that fail to make the grade. It will always depend on racing dogs on dangerously configured tracks – long straights and tight bends designed purely for the specator/gambler – where there is a huge risk of injury and it will always depend on producing wastage once the dogs are no longer deemed suitable as a betting product. Thanks for the advice Jim but I’m going to stick around anyway.

      • George Bova

        August 23, 2018 at 7:31 pm

        You’re from the UK, Trudy? Did you know your peers in the anti-racing crowd here in the US are the very ones who BLOCKED the very sort of safety reforms in Florida you’re advocating? It’s hardly a surprise these same fake “protect dog” leaders are now deceiving animal lovers with a law that even a judge declared #OutrightTrickeration for the way it #HidesTheBall from Florida voters. How does it feel to be so duped by your own side?

        • Trudy Baker

          August 24, 2018 at 3:43 am

          Where do I advocate any safety reforms?

Comments are closed.


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