TAMPA—Ellen DeGeneres, Pierce Brosnan, Slash, Arielle Kebbel and other celebrities from Florida and across the nation have signed a letter urging Florida residents to protect dogs by voting Yes on 13, a proposed constitutional amendment that would phase out greyhound racing in the state by the year 2020. Florida is home to 11 of the 17 remaining greyhound tracks in the United States and the passage of Amendment 13 would be a significant blow to the dog racing industry and help bring an end to this cruel practice.
Kitty Block, acting CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States, said, “Greyhound racing involves substantial cruelty, with a dog dying on a Florida track every three days. We are grateful that so many public figures are keeping this issue in front of voters.”
A letter (PDF) urging all Floridians to vote Yes on 13 outlines several shocking facts about how greyhounds suffer in the racing industry:
- Dogs are cruelly confined. Approxmately 8,000 greyhounds in Florida are kept in warehouse-style stacked metal cages that are barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. They are normally confined for 20 to 23 hours per day in these cages.
- Dogs are dying at Florida racetracks. Since the state began tracking greyhound deaths in 2013, 493 dogs have died at Florida tracks. On average, a greyhound dies at a Florida dog track every three days, and 94 percent of these dogs were three years old or younger.
- Dogs are suffering serious injuries. In a single county, Seminole, since May of 2017, 87 greyhound injuries have been reported, including 64 greyhounds who suffered broken bones and five dogs that died.
- There is a serious doping problem in dog racing. Over the past decade there have been more than 400 greyhound drug positives at Florida tracks, including 73 greyhound cocaine positives, and positive results for novocaine, lidocaine, industrial solvent DMSO, and opiates oxycodone and oxymorphone.
- Greyhounds are fed meat from dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals. To reduce costs, greyhounds are fed raw 4D meat that includes denatured charcoal.
Carey Theil, executive director of GREY2K USA, said, “Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane. Floridians have a once in a lifetime opportunity to help thousands of dogs by voting Yes on 13.”
Actress Arielle Kebbel, who hails from Winter Park, Fla., said, “I’m proud to join my colleagues in the creative community to stand for greyhounds and support Amendment 13 in my home state of Florida. Anyone can love dogs and want to see them protected—the fight to end animal cruelty has no boundaries.”
The celebrities who signed the letter (PDF) are joining a large group of bipartisan elected officials and candidates, businesses, civic organizations, animal welfare organizations, local animal shelters and veterinarians, all in support of an end to greyhound racing.
The complete list of celebrity signers:
Uzo Aduba, Kristin Bauer, Melissa Benoist, Keely and Pierce Brosnan, Jai Courtney, Ellen Degeneres, Natalie Dormer, Scott Eastwood, Erin Foster, Daisy Fuentes, Bryan Greenberg, Claire Holt, Jack Huston, Arielle Kebbel, Minka Kelly, Richard Marx, Jennifer Morrison, Ednita Nazario, Danielle Panabaker, Josh Peck, Alicia Silverstone, Slash, Geoff Stults, Wilmer Valderrama, Johann Vera, Owen Wilson, Rainn Wilson, Bellamy Young, Parker Young.
For more information on Amendment 13, a full list of current supporters, and information on how it will help save greyhounds from needless suffering, please visit protectdogs.org.
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