Greyhound Pets of America - Position on Florida Amendment 13 ballot

Greyhound Pets of America ("GPA"), the oldest and largest Greyhound adoption organization in the United States, is releasing this response regarding our position on the scheduled upcoming vote in Florida on Amendment 13. GPA's founding charter provides that neither the national organization nor its chapter members take any official position on the political issues surrounding professional Greyhound racing, and this of course precludes our taking a "for" or "against" position on Amendment 13. However, we are not precluded from bringing several facts to your attention:

1. As the American public has discovered, retired racing Greyhounds make wonderful pets. It has been our observation as Greyhound adoption volunteers that Greyhounds make such wonderful pets precisely because of, not in spite of, the manner in which they are bred, trained and treated during their racing careers. We value the partnership that the Greyhound adoption community has developed with the Greyhound racing community to help insure that every Greyhound has a pet home to retire to at the end of its athletic career.

2. We find it ironic that the group campaigning for Amendment 13 calls itself "The Committee to Protect Dogs," yet it actually does no work in Greyhound adoption and doesn't participate, financially or otherwise, in the rehoming of a single retired racing Greyhound. GPA chapters and other Greyhound adoption groups throughout the United States have Greyhound adoption well covered, such that we are now at or near 100% adoption of all racing Greyhounds at the end of their racing careers. We'd like to suggest that the Committee to Protect Dogs live up to its name and use some or all of the reported seven figures it is spending on political ads to rehome and thus actually protect the thousands of unwanted dogs sitting in pounds and shelters throughout Florida.

3. GPA is very concerned that Amendment 13 contains no provision whatsoever for the funding of the unprecedented effort that will be required if thousands of racing Greyhounds are put out of work over a short period of time if Amendment 13 passes the public vote in November. Likewise, there is no indication that the ironically-named "Committee to Protect Dogs" has budgeted a single dollar to help with that effort if it achieves its political goal of ending Greyhound racing in Florida. Some of the politicians who advanced Amendment 13 through the CRC process have provided vague assurances that some unnamed animal shelters stand ready to rehome the displaced Greyhounds, but we know through years of experience specializing in Greyhound adoption that general animal shelters do not have the knowledge or experience necessary to properly screen prospective homes so that former racing Greyhounds go to optimum homes.

Therefore, we hope that Florida voters will give this consequence due consideration as they decide how they will vote on Amendment 13.

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By Christopher Straka, GAR Treasurer As many may have read, on November 6, 2018, Amendment 13 to the Florida constitution was approved by the voters in that state. What does this mean and why is it i