By Gary Lloyd
It’s your turn, Alabama.
On Tuesday, Florida voters overwhelmingly decided to end greyhound racing in the state. More than five million Floridians voted on Amendment 13, with 69 percent voting to phase out the “sport,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.
With the vote, five states are left with active dog racing tracks: West Virginia, Texas, Iowa, Arkansas, and Alabama.
One of those active tracks is the Birmingham Race Course, which sits not far from Trussville city limits. It is a dying sport, and I wrote about it when the president of Grey2K USA, a non-profit organization that works to pass stronger greyhound protection laws and end the cruelty of dog racing on both national and international levels, came to Birmingham in 2015.
Grey2K USA, which details greyhound racing in Alabama here, released the following statement after the Florida vote.
“Tonight, in an historic vote, Florida voters have delivered a knock-out blow to a cruel industry that has been hurting and killing dogs for nearly a century. Thanks to the passage of Amendment 13, thousands of innocent hounds will finally get the second chance they deserve. This is a small step in turning the page on a relic of the old economy, but a giant step for animal protection nationwide. Over the past 87 years greyhounds have lived in small cages at Florida dog tracks. Countless dogs have died at a young age, including many dogs that were simply too slow to be profitable. Other greyhounds died after suffering serious injuries, including broken legs, broken backs and cardiac arrest. Some were even electrocuted. In the past decade, hundreds of dogs have tested positive for illegal drugs including cocaine, in a cynical effort to make one of the fastest animals on earth run even faster. Any industry that is doping dogs to skew the results is engaging in corrupt conduct and abuse.
We are thankful for the hard work of our volunteers, who have made many sacrifices in order to give these gentle dogs a voice. We are also grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from editorial boards, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Senator Tom Lee, Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, Andrew Gillum, Lara Trump, Mike Hill, Governor Rick Scott, Mike Huckabee, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, the Florida Federation of Republican Women, and so many others. We would to thank all of our endorsers and the four sponsors of Amendment 13: GREY2K USA Worldwide, the Humane Society of the United States, the Doris Day Animal League and Animal Wellness Action. In the coming days we will reach out to the greyhound industry as the adoption process begins. Greyhounds make wonderful companions, and this is an opportunity to help thousands of dogs find loving homes. While the vote is over, our work is far from done.”
Hey, Grey2K USA, congratulations on your victory in Florida. Alabama is not too far away.