BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- A push to stop greyhound deaths on the race track is amping up. In Florida, more than 70 dogs have died in seven months, and WINK News is learning, two of those deaths were at the Naples Fort Myers greyhound track.
"It is like any other sports, athletes, the Olympics, things can happen."
But, now there is a push to keep dogs off the track even more.
"If they are not in condition to race, they get time off, then we don't race them."
The vice president of the Naples Fort Myers greyhound track says he is required to have over 410 performances to stay in business, and would now like to see it scaled back to 100 or less. Race dog trainer Kelly Everett says a lot of work goes into keeping these dogs fit to run.
"We spend a lot of time, a lot of hours of our day, we have a lot of people working in kennels," said Everett.
In a recent study reviewed by the Miami Herald, a total of 74 dogs died on race track property between May 31st and December 31st. Two of those deaths were at the Naples Fort Myers Greyhound Track--one the lowest state.
"They don't race unless they are 100% to be on the race track."
Everett is in charge of over 60 dogs.
"If they aren't fit, they live in the crate and they are on vacation, until they are healthy again."
Up until recently, a dog death could go unreported, but, now, a change in the rules. In the State of Florida, all greyhound deaths are required to be logged and reported to the state within 18 hours. Everett said these dogs get plenty of time to rest in between races, and do not run back to back.
"Just like an athlete, he can play a game two days later, it's the same thing."
On Wednesday, animal activist will meet with lawmakers to discuss stricter rules to help keep the dogs safer.