How to Adopt a Retired Greyhound Now That Florida Has Voted to Ban Dog-Race Betting

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Though Andrew Gillum fell short of becoming their next governor, there was some good midterm election news out of the state of Florida: voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 13, which banned wagering on dog races, effectively ending greyhound racing in the state. Florida was, before Tuesday, one of just six states that still operated gambling-friendly dog racing tracks (though it had a full 11 of the country’s 17), a practice that has been decried by animal rights advocates as cruel and harmful to dogs.

Our environmental ballot roundup (yes, dogs are part of the environment!) cited a statistic from Protect Dogs—Yes on 13, the leading group behind the amendment, that a dog died every three days in Florida as a result of racing. Amendment 13 needed at least 60 percent approval to pass, and ended up garnering 5.3 million votes—enough for a very nice 69 percent passage.

So that’s great news for dogs! However, there is a slight problem and it is that you need to get a dog now. According to NBC News, when Amendment 13 goes into law on December 31, 2020, anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 greyhounds will be unemployed and homeless—a number that doesn't even include the many puppies currently being bred for races that will no longer happen. Though officials on both sides of the amendment—pro-racing groups and anti—have said they’re dedicated to rehoming the retired greyhounds, that means they’re going to need adopters. I’d do it myself but I’m not allowed to have dogs in my apartment, so I’ll say it again: You should totally get a dog!!

Here are several reasons a greyhound would be a great addition to your family:

  • Humane Society Florida Director Kate McFall described greyhounds as “gentle giants.” Gentle giants!
    • I would never suggest you get a dog for its aesthetic value, but greyhounds are extremely fashionable and pretty. Gaze upon this assortment of stylish doggies:
      Dog, Mammal, Vertebrate, Canidae, Polish greyhound, Hortaya borzaya, Galgo español, Greyhound, Sighthound, Sloughi,
      Toni FrissellGetty Images
      Dog, Canidae, Italian greyhound, Standing, Weimaraner, Whippet, Carnivore, Mudhol hound, Lurcher, Great dane,
      Getty Images
      Dog, Mammal, Borzoi, Vertebrate, Canidae, Dog breed, Carnivore, Silken windhound, Longhaired whippet, Sighthound,
      Getty Images
      • I think those last ones are technically borzois, but you get the idea. Long dogs look good next to outfits!
        • They’re the fastest dog! I guess that sort of makes sense if people were racing them, but if you’ve ever found yourself staring at a French bulldog and thinking, Sure it’s cute, but I wish it had better agility and didn't snort like a little pig, maybe you should get that greyhound you’ve been talking about.
          • They are polite around other dogs, according to this breed guide. They look like they’d have nice manners. Like, a greyhound would totally know the difference between an oyster fork and a pastry fork. Oh, oh! And it could wear a little dog monocle! Refined!
            • But mostly, you would be adopting a rescue animal who really needs your help. And isn’t that almost as good a feeling as petting the soft, soft fur of a rangy canine?

              Check out Florida-based rescue organizations Friends of Greyhounds, Greyhound Pet Adoption, and Elite Greyhound Adoptions to see available pups. And mazel tov on getting a dog!


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