Hundreds of Florida Greyhounds Need Homes Due to Schedule Change at Race Track
It looks like the Florida Greyhound rescues may need some help soon.
Thanks to Mike for barking in this article from Florida Today.
Dog racing ends until Dec. 26
BY LINDA JUMP
MELBOURNE -- Melbourne Greyhound Track is suspending live greyhound racing until Dec. 26.
The track is returning to the winter-only dog racing schedule it used before the gambling establishment added a poker room.
Previously, if the track wanted to allow poker it had to run live racing. On Sunday, that changed when a new law came into force.
On July 1, the law took effect to eliminate a phrase that made us run a live race any day that we ran poker," said Patrick T. Biddix, the tracks president.
The change wont affect harness racing, horse racing, or jai-alai.
The track is home to 500 greyhounds.
Well know within a few weeks how many will go to other tracks and then, well know how many need to be adopted," he said.
Biddix said winter greyhound racing has been part of the business since it opened in March 1991. He added that hes glad to see the summer dog races go.
It was hot and slow business. Theres something special about reopening with dogs in the winter. Theres something about the circus coming to town," Biddix said.
He said the change in schedule will affect about 12 trainers. Six will likely be offered another job at the track during the summer, Biddix said. There are 246 full and part-time workers at the track.
Biddix noted that the greyhounds have individual owners and arent owned by the track.
Susan Netboy, president of the Greyhound Protection League based in Penn Valley, California, worried that the demand for homes for the unwanted dogs will be a burden on local animal rescue groups.
There could be 300 to 400 dogs that need to go to a home," she said. Whos going to take care of these dogs in the interim?"
Dennis Tyler, president of Greyhound Pets of America based in Melbourne, said the dogs will be well cared for until adopted.
Weve worked with the track since 1996, and have moved 5,000 dogs at that track," he said.
But, Tyler added, theyve never had to find new homes for so many dogs so abruptly. His group works with 40 nationwide animal rescue sites. Last year, Tylers group found homes for 450 greyhounds, even as the year-round racing continued.