Florida ban on greyhound racing could mean more dogs to Ohio


Eleven-year-old Star, a blonde and white greyhound, hasn't raced in Florida for years.

Today, she lives happily inside the home of Suzy Denniston of Central Ohio Greyhound Rescue.

Greyhound rescues are expected to increase across the country now that Florida has banned the sport.

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"We have a waiting list of adopters right now we're having a hard time getting dogs because we don't have enough foster homes at the moment," says Denniston.

The greyhound industry has been maligned for issues regarding poor treatment, to deaths, and drug use.

But those tied to the industry say the dogs receive excellent care and most of what you read about the sport, they say, isn't based on facts.

If there was so much abuse why in the most heavily regulated industry with the most strict animal cruelty laws are you not seeing any prosecutions?," says Steve Sarras, VP of the National Greyhound Association..

An estimated 4,000-7,000 greyhounds could need homes when Florida's racing days are over.

Those in the industry say finding room for the dogs won't be easy.

"There's not going to be a lot of space available for Florida greyhounds to go to West Virginia, or to go to Alabama to Arkansas, or Iowa or Texas because those kennels have dogs in them already," says Sarras.

For many years, Animal welfare organizations have argued that greyhound racing is a cruel sport. GREY2K USA's website lists a number of issues that it claims stem from the world of greyhound racing, including confinement of the dogs for 20 to 23 hours a day, live lure training, injuries, and even death.

One of the toughest parts of re-homing retired greyhounds is transportation, which costs an average of $100 per dog.

How you can help:

  • Donate money to local greyhound organizations
  • Donate dog-related items, including crates, beds, food dishes and blankets. The food should be high quality to help the dogs transition
  • Become a foster family: Take in a rescue greyhound for about four to eight weeks
  • Become a volunteer: Contact the organization to help with organizing events and other duties