A coalition of 16 animal protection organizations, led by GREY2K USA, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Humane Society of the United States, sent a letter to the Florida House and Senate Gaming Committees calling for passage of two greyhound protection measures. The letter calls on lawmakers to eliminate a state mandate that requires gaming facilities to hold live dog races. In addition, the letter urges the Senate Gaming Committee and House Select Committee on Gaming to pass a greyhound injury reporting law.

“Unless the legislature acts, thousands of dogs will continue to endure lives of confinement at Florida tracks, and suffer serious injuries, for an activity that generates little interest,” the letter states. “Florida has a proud history when it comes to the humane treatment of animals. Passing these two greyhound protection measures will continue that tradition.”

The letter is signed by leaders of the Florida animal protection community, including representatives of the Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations, Florida Animal Control Association, SPCA Tampa Bay, Jacksonville Humane Society, Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County, Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control, First Coast No More Homeless Pets, Alaqua Animal Refuge and Cat Depot. It is also signed by leading greyhound adoption groups including Greyhound Adoptions of Florida, Greyhound Rescue & Adoptions of Tampa Bay, Retired Greyhounds as Pets and the National Greyhound Adoption Program.

“The state mandate for live dog racing has become a subsidy for out-of-state greyhound breeders, and it’s time for a change,” said Carey Theil, executive director for GREY2K USA Worldwide.

“This forced union of two unrelated forms of gambling makes no sense and inflicts unnecessary cruelty on greyhounds, who spend their racing lives confined, suffering terrible injuries, and may be killed once they are no longer profitable” said Ann Church, vice president of state affairs for the ASPCA. “Instead of forcing taxpayers to cover the cost of regulating race tracks that businesses don’t want, Florida should ’decouple‘ greyhound racing from other forms of gambling.”

Kate MacFall, Florida state director for The Humane Society of the United States, said: “The state of Florida shouldn’t force gambling operations to hold live dog racing. It’s a dying industry, and this important legislation will move the humane economy forward.”

Beginning this week, the House and Senate Gaming Committees will hold a series of workshops across the state. The Committees will likely consider legislation next year that addresses Florida’s gambling industry.

For more information on the inherent cruelty of greyhound racing, please visit www.Grey2KUSA.org.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Formed in February of 2001, GREY2K USA is the largest greyhound protection organization in the United States with more than 50,000 supporters.  As a non-profit 501(c)4 social welfare organization, the group works to pass stronger greyhound protection laws and to end the cruelty of dog racing on both national and international levels. GREY2K USA also promotes the rescue and adoption of greyhounds across the globe.  For more information, go to www.GREY2KUSA.org or visit GREY2K USA on Facebook or Twitter.

About The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty—on the Web at humanesociety.org.