Florida amendment on greyhound racing to have trickle-down effect in Minnesota

Voters approved banning greyhound racing which will have trickle-down effects

Sloane Martin
November 09, 2018 - 1:51 pm

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A measure approved in Florida with nearly 70 percent of the vote on Election Day will have a trickle-down effect in Minnesota.

Amendment 13 bans commercial greyhound racing where two-thirds of tracks still operate. Greyhound racing is now illegal in 41 states, marking a major victory for animal welfare activists. 

Adoption groups across the country, including Minnesota, are mobilizing in anticipation of as many as eight-thousand dogs to need new homes. The tracks are set to close by 2021. 

"Nobody knows exactly what it means in terms of time frame," Rodger Barr, president of Northern Lights Greyhound Adoption in Coon Rapids, said. "Over the course of time the breeding industry will definitely slow down to a virtual trickle and available dogs for adoption will also dry up."

Supporters of Amendment 13 pointed to cases of abuse, confinement, and track fatalities. Statistics from the state show nearly 500 greyhounds have died since 2013. Supporters included Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and President Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump.

“Because of the decisions of millions of Florida voters, thousands of dogs will be spared the pain and suffering that is inherent in the greyhound racing industry,” Kitty Block, the acting president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, told the Orlando Sentinel. “We are so grateful to the volunteers, campaign members, coalition partners, contributors and endorsers who came together in support of this historic effort to end the cruelty of greyhound racing.”

Opponents argued the claims were exaggerated and decried the negative economic impact. Many argued that the numbers pale din comparison to the thousands of dogs over decades that have been treated with care.

Some adoption advocates are concerned about the future of the breed itself without the support of the industry. 

"The whole process they go through forms them and makes them what they are," Barr said. "We've placed enough young puppies that have never gone through the process to know it's a whole different experience and the end result is totally different, too."

While Northern Lights is still waiting to see how things will unfold, Barr says a truckload of newly adoptable former racers will be arriving in Minnesota later this month. All from Florida.