New report claims 74 dogs died at Florida racing tracks in 2013

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Posted: Monday, February 17, 2014 5:00 pm | Updated: 9:24 pm, Wed May 14, 2014.

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The dog racing industry is once again under fire thanks to a new report issued by GREY2K USA, an agency that lobbies for increased regulation of the dog racing industry. The report states that there were 74 greyhound deaths in the state of Florida between May and December of last year.

"Greyhounds are losing their lives just so someone can place a $2 bet," says GREY2K's Christine Dorchak. "As these new records show, a greyhound is dying every three days at a Florida dog track. This has just got to stop."

GREY2K is now pushing for even more regulation of the dog racing industry. Thanks to the group's efforts, state lawmakers passed a measure requiring track operators to notify the state within 18 hours of a greyhound's death. That reporting requirement went into effect in last May, with GREY2K noting reports of 74 dog deaths at a track or racing kennel statewide by the end of 2013.

"The report will show that greyhounds suffer heat strokes, they break their legs, or they simple die of exhaustion," Dorchak says.

We pulled state records and were able to verify that at lease 5 greyhound deaths occurred right here at the Sarasota Kennel Club during the May-December time period. But the report from the state does not show what caused those deaths.

The report is not without controversy, and representatives from the American Greyhound Council dispute Grey2K's claim that 74 greyhounds died statewide.

"GREY2K is out to eliminate the industry and abolish the industry, so I'm not sure their a credible source of information on the issue," says the American Greyhound Council's Marsha Kelly. "Having said that, anytime there is a report of a greyhound fatality we take it very seriously."

Kelly says the group has contacted the state to get the report, and they have and will continue to work to make sure all greyhounds are safe.

"As a statistical fact, the number of injuries in greyhound racing is very small, with fewer than one half of one percent result in an injury," Kelly says. "Greyhound racing has worked very hard over the last decade or more to reduce injuries."

The issues surrounding greyhound racing are expected to take center stage in Tallahassee Wednesday, when GREY2K and the ASPCA officially present their report in the hopes of getting more regulations passed.

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  • slack posted at 9:00 pm on Thu, Feb 20, 2014.

    slack Posts: 1

    Erik: You need to review the 212 pages. Here is the real story!!
    Greyhound industry responds to dog death record, blames track owners.

    The Florida Greyhound Association and its affiliate, the National Greyhound Association, are defending the treatment of the racing dogs in response to an article in the Sunday Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times that reported that 74 dogs have died on race track property since the state started keeping records in May.

    For the first time in the 80 years dogs have been raced for profit in Florida, the state began requiring that track operators notify the state within 18 hours of a greyhound’s death at a track or racing kennel in Florida. The law was approved by lawmakers in 2010 only after some track owners had concluded that they wanted to reduce the amount of racing because it was no longer profitable. The rule didn’t take effect until May 31.

    Jack Cory, lobbyist for the Florida Greyhound Association, acknowledged in a press release that there have been racing-related deaths but blamed track owners for the track conditions as the cause.

    Cory also sent an email to greyhound breeders that called the Herald/Times report "hysterical" and noted that since the article appeared "Tracks have been inundated by TV Cameras."

    "1 early death of a Greyhound is to many, BUT unfortunately accidents and illness happen with death resulting everywhere in Day Care Centers,'' Cory wrote. "Nursing Homes, Hospitals even at DCF where 432 Children died from Abuse and Neglect in 2012. I am not comparing a Greyhound to a Child but accidents and illness do happen with death resulting! They are unfortunate and many could be stopped with our 3 point safety plan!"

    The Facts about the recent Florida Greyhound Reporting Issue 2/2014

    * The Division of Parimutuel Wagering (PMW) does NOT have a Report!
    Instead they have 212 pages of emails and faxes, many of them confusing.

    * Not one case was opened for animal abuse or neglect. Not one!

    * The Florida Greyhound Association and the National Greyhound Association have a zero tolerance for any animal abuse and neglect.

    * There were over 8,000 racing Greyhounds in Florida during 2013 unfortunately 70 of them died, but that was less than 1%.

    This is very sad but should not be exploited by out of state radical "Animal Rights" groups, for political or fund raising purposes, that condoned the killing of 250,000 Shelter Pets in Florida last year.

    * Over 50% of most Shelter Pets are killed in Florida each year
    That is over 250,000! The ASPCA gives support to those high kill Shelters!

    * Over 90% of all Racing Greyhounds in Florida are adopted or returned to the farm to live out their lives.
    That is the standard used by the No Kill Movement !

    If Live Greyhound Racing were reduced or eliminated these 8,000 beautiful Greyhounds and thousands of Florida jobs would be put at risk.

    After analyzing the 212 pages of the PMW documents obtained through a Public Records request we have found that of the 70 Greyhounds that died in Florida in 2013:

    Over 50 % died because of the Track Related circumstances and Track Managements Failures!

    37 Greyhounds died because of Track Related circumstances and the Track Management's failure to maintain their Compound properly

    The Florida Greyhound Association has put forth a 3 point "Greyhound Safety Plan" that could have prevented many of these unfortunate deaths.

    --------1. Require all Tracks to maintain proper Track surface.

    --------2. Require all Tracks to install lure safety device.

    --------3. Require all Tracks to insulate 240 volt bus bar.

    33 Greyhounds died in non-track related incidents and some from Natural Causes:

    ------------14 dogs died from natural causes or illness, including cardiac arrest, cancer, aneurysm, etc. 20% by Natural Causes

    -------------1 dog was involved in an accident.

    -------------18 greyhounds died from unknown causes, necropsy reports are still pending for some cases. Over 20% the State does not why they died.

    NONE died from animal abuse or neglect! NONE!

    The Florida Greyhound Association and the National Greyhound Association have a very strong safety and inspection program on the farms. We encourage the State Legislature to support the "Greyhound Safety Plan" NOW!

  • ra144 posted at 9:41 am on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    ra144 Posts: 3

    They may be state records, but the anti-greyhound group Grey2k USA has a history of misrepresenting data to meet their needs. Grey2k's primary objective is cash flow. Telling the whole story would not be conducive to generating donations to their sham 501(c)(4) "non-profit". The whole story might include data like the number of races conducted in the state during that period - about 14,000. Or the number greyhound starts represented during that period - about 100,000.

  • Eric_NM posted at 11:21 pm on Mon, Feb 17, 2014.

    Eric_NM Posts: 2

    Marsha Kelly says, "I'm not sure their a credible source of information on the issue." Feel free to pull the STATE RECORDS Ms Kelly, and count them up yourself. This is not a number that anyone has made up. These are state mandated reports, completed by greyhound industry people, at greyhound facilities.


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