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Supporters Of Ban On Greyhound Racing Launch Grassroots Campaign In South Florida

Sam Turken
Advocates of an amendment to phase out greyhound racing said the ban will only pass with strong grassroots activism at a meeting Wednesday night.

Supporters of an amendment to phase out greyhound racing in Florida held a meeting in Fort Lauderdale Wednesday night to discuss the state of the sport and to strategize about their campaign. 

About thirty people listened to a presentation on Amendment 13 by Protect Dogs - Yes on 13 at the Broward County Humane Society, while three greyhounds roamed around nearby. The amendment, which is set for a referendum in November, will end greyhound racing in the state by 2020.

It would make Florida the 41st state to do away with the sport. 

Advocates of the amendment are focusing on what they call the "inhumanity of greyhound racing" as part of a grass-roots campaign to build support for the measure.

Christine Dorchak, the president of Grey2k USA—a Greyhound protection organization sponsoring the campaign—emphasized the dangers of the sport at the meeting in Fort Lauderdale.  

"Greyhound racing is cruel," she said. "Greyhounds spend 20 to 23 hours a day locked up in solitary stacked cages."

The greyhound industry says it protects the dogs and that the ban will eliminate thousands of jobs. 

Carey Theil, the executive director of Grey2k USA, acknowledged the industry's argument. But he said the amendment will pass with strong grassroots activism. 

"And we will have a strong television ad campaign," he said. "That's something we're going to have to come together and fundraise for."

Additional meetings will take place across the state, including one in Miami Thursday. 

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