Graphic new ad targeting Florida greyhound racing debuts soon

By Jake Stofan - Tallahassee corespondent
Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

Dogs racing at The Meadows Greyhound track.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Graphic greyhound racing accidents and living conditions are the subject of a new TV ad that will debut soon in Florida.

The spot is part of a new ad campaign, backed by the group "Protect Dogs - Yes on 13," that aims to spotlight the negative side of greyhound racing before Floridians vote on whether to ban it in November.

"This video shines a light on the cruelty," said Katie McFall, co-chair of the "Protect Dogs - Yes on 13" campaign.

But not everyone's on board with the campaign. Jack Cory, a lobbyist for the Florida Greyhound Association, said the images shown in the ad do not represent the industry as a whole.

"We exercise the dogs all week, we give them all the proper food, we give them the proper care. We especially give them the proper love," said Cory.

Racing advocates said if people truly want to protect animals, they should instead focus their attention on animal shelters. In fact, Cory said, 115,000 animals are deliberately killed in Florida every year.

Rescuers, however, contend injuries and deaths from greyhound racing are far more common than the industry cares to admit.

"The state of Florida only requires recording the deaths of the dogs at the track, so the dogs that I get in are not recorded," said rescuer Sonia Strateman. "Nobody knows. There's no recording of any of that."

Organizers behind the "Protect Dogs - Yes on 13" campaign predict that once Floridians view the new ad, they'll overwhelmingly pass Amendment 13.

"Florida voters care about dogs, love dogs and will vote yes on Amendment 13," said McFall.

The organization officially kicks off its campaign on Monday. They said this ad will be the first of many voters will see before November.

Racing advocates, meanwhile, have filed a lawsuit to have Amendment 13 removed from the ballot, arguing its language is misleading.

A hearing date in that case has not yet been set.

Copyright 2018 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.