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‘Johnny’ and ‘Twiggy’ make the pitch to end greyhound racing

by Dara Kam | January 17th, 2012


A pair of greyhounds did the marketing this morning for activists in the Capitol pushing an animal-friendly agenda.

Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, and Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, had “Johnny” and “Twiggy” on hand at a press conference for their proposal to allow dog tracks to keep their card rooms and other gambling activities but put an end to greyhound racing.

Sachs, whose district is home to the Palm Beach Kennel Club, said the state needs to quit subsidizing the dying industry and allow the pari-mutuels to stop the dog races that have become just an excuse to offer more lucrative poker games.

And, the bipartisan pair said, their “decoupling” bills (SB 382, HB 641) will put an end to the inhumane treatment of some greyhounds at smaller tracks. The pari-mutuel industry also supports the measures.

“It’s just not where we’re at as a people anymore,” Sachs said.

A similar proposal died on the last day of last year’s session over a dispute about tax breaks for the dog tracks, including PBKC.

The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and GREY2K USA are also backing a measure (SB 488, HB 527) that would allow counties to charge an extra $10 for animal cruelty fines and let the money be spent on spay and neuter programs.

The animal rights groups are opposing a proposal (SB 1184, HB 1021) dubbed the “ag gag” bill that would make it a crime to take pictures or video of agricultural property.

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11 Responses to “‘Johnny’ and ‘Twiggy’ make the pitch to end greyhound racing”

  1. Lisa Bottcher/Oliver's House Says:

    Greyhound racing tracks are as BARBARIC as history’s Colosseum activities (why is FLORIDA one of the last 7 states in the USA to allow this practice?) ~ please, Florida, stop hurting animals!!!!!

  2. Greyhound Safe Says:

    Support of the decoupling bills is vital.
    The abuse greyhounds endure to sustain the racing industry must simply end.The industry is dying but not quick enough for the greyhounds dying for the industry, these bills will help further and hasten the end of the greyhounds plight.

  3. Chuck Says:

    Let’s get these two bills passed and put an end to this cruel and inhumane business. Using animals for entertainment is wrong. There are other outlets for gambling that don’t exploit animals. How many more have to suffer and die before the law will be changed and the animals set free? But whether you support the racing or you don’t – you can’t argue with the intent of these two bills. The state should not be able to dictate that a business conduct one activity in order that it be able to offer another. People who abuse animals lack empathy, compassion and any kind of social consciousness. I encourage our state legislators to support “decoupling” and save the lives of thousands of innocent greyhounds. These bills, if passed, could also create a blueprint for putting an end to Greyhound racing in the other six remaining states.

  4. TGMOJO Says:

    WAIT…lets line up the Political figures and let them run for the goal to see how it feels… would probably sound something like this……thats Obama out in front, Hillary fading to the outside….Newt following close to last place…wait..there goes a unidentified joker dry humping…another official…

  5. Caryn Wood Says:

    Since 1990, taxes and fees the State of Florida receives from live greyhound races has decreased by 96.5%. This reflects public opinion. Yet, living, breathing, loving, gentle greyhounds are captive pawns in a scenario which exists under an antiquated mandate that requires live dog racing.

    SB382 and HB641 will change that requirement by “decoupling” mandatory live greyhound race dates while permitting the tracks to continue offering other forms of gambling.

    These humane and business-conscious bills are in sync with mainstream values. Thank you Senator Sachs and House Representative Young.

  6. Joyce C. Says:

    Greyhound racing is just about costing FL as much to regulate it as it generates in state revenue, plus costing dogs’ health and all too often their lives. Enough…let’s get this Decoupling Bill passed. Everyone should call their state legislators and ask for their support!

  7. Susi Pittman Says:

    A dying industry should be allowed to “pass on.” The taxpayers of this state do not need to continue to prop up this inhumane and antiquated sport. It truly is a moral issue in the responsible stewardship arena, one that behooves an end to suffering animals to entertain us for pleasure. Thank Senator Sachs and Rep. Young today for their efforts in working to get this bill passed!

  8. Kathy Pelton Says:

    Financially this bill makes sense. The amount gambled on live dog racing and the taxes collected by the state from dog racing has significantly declined over the years. This alone should be a reason to pass the Greyhound Decoupling bill but their is another aspect that needs to be considered and that is the humane issue. Right now, thousands of greyhounds are racing at the 13 tracks throughout Florida. We have no idea how many injuries and deaths are occurring at these tracks since Florida does not have a Record Keeping requirement. Let’s pass this bill and get the dogs out.

  9. Cyndi R Says:

    Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane. Dogs are locked in small crates for approximately 20+ hours a day and are injured on the track all the time. Often there is little or no veterinary care for the dogs. This is 2012, not the dark ages. It is time for Florida to do the right thing and quit tolerating the abuse and death of greyhounds for the sake of entertainment.

    Additionally, I am sick and tired of my tax dollars subsidizing and propping up this dying industry. The 15 million dollars that was given to the dog racing industy last year could be better spent on
    teachers salaries and sending young people to college. Why is it the responsibility of tax payers to
    subsidize an industry that the public is clearly no longer interested in? It is time to get rid of the antiquated regulation that require dogs to run to empty grandstands. It is time to pass this de-coupling legislation and save the greyhounds in Florida.

  10. Matt Binder Says:

    It’s incredibly simple: Greyhound race coupling costs the taxpayers money, costs the cardhouses money, and forces more greyhounds to live horrific lives right up until they’re killed.

    There is every reason to pass the decoupling bill. I hope my congressman, and Florida as a whole, makes the fiscal and moral choice.

  11. Luke Swanhart Says:

    Please call Senator J. D. Alexander’s office,(850) 487-5044, who is chairman of the Budget Committee, to support SB 0488. It only has ONE MORE committee meeting before passing the Florida Senate. Please make that call!!

    It costs Miami Dade over $10 million dollars a year to run their dog pound. It also costs Palm Beach County over $10 million a year. In fact when you collect the cost of animal control throughout the state it’s close to $94 million – a year – tax payers’ money – whose main designated function is to dispose of unwanted companion animals no different than trash – and most of them nothing wrong with them.

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