Greyhound racing was once a popular pastime, but it’s increasingly come under fire for the harsh conditions the dogs have to live in.
These greyhounds are bred to race and live their lives confined to small cages and confined spaces, according to Humane Society. Dogs frequently sustain injuries and death on the track.
It’s fallen out of popular favor and is now illegal in 40 states. Many animal lovers rejoiced in 2018, when Florida became the next state to ban the sport, agreeing to phase them out by 2020.
But now there’s a new hurdle: finding homes for all these dogs. And due to the coronavirus pandemic, they need homes even sooner than expected.
According to News4Jax, the Florida dog tracks had until the end of the year to cease operations, but now they are all closed due to COVID-19, and some of them will not reopen.
There are now 950 greyhounds in Jacksonville looking for a home. Forty others have been shipped to New England.
While others are trying to remain in business and are paying for kennel care for the dogs, the sudden closures would mean thousands more greyhounds with no place to go.
“Because of the current crisis, it was stepped up,” Jack Cory, a representative of the Florida Greyhound Association, told News4Jax, adding that the dogs were to be adopted in the next few months anyway.
But local groups like Awesome Greyhound Adoptions are stepping up to find them homes.
“We were anticipating having a little bit more time to prepare for the dogs to place them, but now all of a sudden we have 1,500 dogs that are looking for a place to go,” said lead trainer Carolee Ellison.
The group is looking for local Florida families to foster the dogs, though it’s a big responsibility.
“They have to be walked three or four times a day, they have to be fed twice a day, they have to be watered constantly so it’s a major issue,” Jack Cory said.
If you live in Florida and are interested in fostering one of these dogs, you can reach out to Awesome Greyhound Adoptions!
And if you want to give one of them a forever home, you can contact Greyhounds as Pets of Northeast Florida!
After all these dogs have been through, they deserve a loving forever home. We hope they’re all adopted soon! Spread the word by sharing this story!