Thousands of greyhounds will need homes after Amendment 13 bans dog racing in Florida
PENSACOLA, FLA. (WEAR-TV) - Voters have put an end to commercial dog racing in Florida with the passage of Amendment 13.
Eleven of the remaining 17 dog tracks in the country are in Florida. One of these is in Pensacola.
Now that the amendment has passed, many people are wondering what is going to happen to the thousands of greyhounds at tracks around the state.
Lois Phillips adopted her first greyhound in 2002.
Over the last sixteen years, she’s fostered more than 50 greyhounds and has adopted four of her own.
“They do love to run and when they get together, even at a dog park, you can see the that,” said Phillips. “The joy on their face when they are running is just wonderful to see.”
Running is part of their nature, but some believe commercial dog racing is inhumane.
“The sport for greyhound racing for gambling is something that’s not been a popular issue for a very long time,” said animal activist Laurie Hood. “It’s something this era has phased out. It’s not necessary to gamble just to watch dogs race around a track.”
Amendment 13 requires the sport to be phased out of tracks in Florida by Dec. 31, 2020.
“The amendment did not have any provisions as for what would happen to the greyhounds and we did our best to educate people on that. You need to vote your conscience obviously, but you also need to realize that we’re gonna need help homing these dogs,” said Phillips.
Phillips also runs the 'Greyhound Pets of America Emerald Coast', an organization in Northwest Florida that finds homes for retired racing dogs.
She said there will soon be 8,000 to 15,000 dogs in need of that service.
“All of the adoption organizations in the state and outside of the state and outside of the country are already coming together to make sure those greyhounds will be safe, accounted for and homed,” said Phillips.
She added that the work has just begun.
“We’re gonna need foster families, we’re gonna need adopters, we’re gonna need sponsors and we’re gonna need money to be quite frank,” said Phillips.
To learn how you can adopt a greyhound visit this website.