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Robin Ganzert Weighs in on Inhumane Treatment of Greyhounds in Florida Dog Racing

Robin Ganzert calls out the Florida greyhound racing circuit for the inhumane treatment of racing dogs that is resulting in a high death rate.
 
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    WASHINGTON, DC, February 27, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- As an advocate for animal safety and welfare, Robin Ganzert is especially concerned about the state of greyhound racing in Florida. As the CEO and president of the American Humane Association, Ganzert is strongly opposed to any practices or programs that put the wellness, well-being, and welfare of animals in jeopardy. Her organization has done much to create safer environments for animals everywhere as well as educate the public on animal welfare through a variety of programs and initiatives.

Thanks to a new state law, Florida's dog racing kennels and tracks are now required to report the number of greyhounds that die on their grounds for any reason. This marks the first time in over 80 years that the state has had to reveal such numbers to the public. And according to one report by the Miami Herald, those numbers do not look good.

As the Herald reports, in the time between May 31, 2013 and December 31, 2013, 74 racing dogs were reported dead on racetrack property. This averages out to one dead dog every three days.

Unlike in other states, the greyhound racing industry in Florida is not required to provide the detailed information of these deaths in their reports, although some still do. Florida dog racers are also not required to report any injuries that do not result in a dog's death.

According to the report, of the 21 greyhound racetracks spread across the United States, 13 of them are in Florida. The new law requires these tracks to notify the state within 18 hours of the death of a greyhound, whether it occurs on the track or in the kennel. Although the law was approved in 2010, it did not go into effect until this past spring, more than 80 years after the practice of dog racing became legal in the state.

This, says Robin Ganzert, is a testament to the influence and power that the greyhound racing industry has in Tallahassee.

As the report points out, many of these greyhound deaths occurred due to accidents on the track. For instance, a 3-year-old greyhound named Penrose Jake died after fading and slamming into another dog during a 550-yard race at the Orange Park Kennel Club.

Another dog, Tiny Momma, fractured a leg during a matinee race at the Daytona Beach Kennel Club. The track veterinarian determined the injury serious enough that the dog needed to be put down.

Other deaths, however, are less the fault of the racing itself and have more to do with improper treatment and care of the greyhounds, says Ganzert.

For instance, one dog by the name of Hallo Spice Key died after he was sprinted in the dark at 5:45 a.m. before a race. The death report concluded that this accident could have been prevented had the dog not been made to run in the dark.

Another dog, Tempo Man Eater, died in the middle of the day after being removed from her crate for exercise. The report mentioned that she had not eaten for four days beforehand, so her trainers had tried to force-feed her.

The state is currently still collecting information while the industry is in education mode, but a spokeswoman from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation said that appropriate action would be taken if deemed necessary. Meanwhile, animal welfare advocates like Robin Ganzert are calling instead for action that will prevent these deaths in the first place, not merely tally them up afterward.

ABOUT:

Since 2010, Robin Ganzert has served as the CEO and president of the American Humane Association. Since taking up this position, she has played a vital part in the implementation of a variety of beneficial initiatives as well as helping to make the organization more relevant and active. In her work, Dr. Ganzert is committed to maximizing the potential of the human-animal bond by protecting the well-being, wellness, and welfare of animals and children everywhere.



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