Southwest Florida greyhound racing season begins

While Southwest Florida greyhound racing season has begun, the commencement date marks the start of a yearly tradition that will soon be no more.

Florida has 12 tracks, including Naples Dog Track, which gives it the most in the nation. However, people have lost interest in the sport as it has been losing money since the 1990s, which may have contributed to constituents’ November decision.

Greyhounds that compete in races. Photo via WINK News
Greyhounds that compete in races. Photo via WINK News

The more than 80-year tradition will end following the passage of Florida Amendment 13, Ban on Wagering on Dog Races Amendment, in November.

Naples Dog Track has already planned for the future following the ban on greyhound racing.

“After that, our family owned business will transition to new entertainment options for the community,” Naples Dog Track, in a statement, said in part, “as we work with local leaders and area residents to continue to deliver for them.”

There will be many greyhounds needing a new home come 2020 and some will be without one.  Several organizations are contributing to the effort as they work hard to socialize these dogs, helping the lean four-legged animals find a forever home.

But the process can be long and arduous. One woman, who has fostered dozens of greyhounds, said she looked after some in rough shape.

“When they came to us they were full of ticks and fleas and worms,” Sally Buuck said, who works with the Greyhound Project, Inc., a non-profit organization providing information about and promoting the adoption of retired racing greyhounds. “The legs that were broken, the tails that had been, they call it happy tail because it would hit the inside the crate.”

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
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