Decouple Florida's greyhound racing laws from gambling rules

July 16, 2013 

I am writing in regards to the Herald's July 1 article, "Gambling loopholes grow as state waits to reform rules."

The recently released Florida state gambling report has made it clear greyhound racing is a dying sport. What has been overlooked in the coverage so far is the cost to the dogs involved in racing.

Racing greyhounds spend 20 or more hours per day in small cages in warehouse-style kennel buildings. Racing greyhounds are frequently injured or killed on the track while running in front of empty stands.

The tracks are losing money and the greyhounds are losing their lives. Broken legs, a fairly common injury for racing greyhounds, often lead to euthanasia because a greyhound that cannot race is viewed as a liability.

If a greyhound is too old, too slow, or too hurt to race, then they are disposed of so a younger, faster, more capable dog can take their place. A greyhound's "career" is typically over by age 3 or 4, but they have a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. Lucky greyhounds are handed out to adoption groups to be placed in loving homes. For the unlucky greyhounds, life ends at the track.

The time has come to decouple greyhound racing and other forms of gambling. Let the tracks shut down their money-losing racing operations and save the greyhounds.

I have been involved in greyhound adoption, foster care, and advocacy since 2005, and currently share my home with four greyhounds. I am also vice president of GREY2K USA, the largest national nonprofit greyhound protection organization in the U.S.

For more information, please visit

Eric Jackson

Albuquerque, Ariz.

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