Dogs Pets Race What is a race

The race is over

A Saturday evening in August, it is 8.30 p.m. The moon hangs low in the Florida sky, but its glow fades next to the neon signs. "GREYHOUND RACE" is written there. "DERBY LANE".

Around 300 spectators are lost in grandstands that once housed thousands. They chat to the music from the speakers, big band and rockabilly. When Frederick Davis leads out the Greyhound Parade, it becomes quiet. In front of the stands, the announcer announced the name of the first of the eight streamlined animals: "TNT Sherlock". Each dog wears a tight vest, called a "blanket", to which a number is attached. "Tailspin", calls the announcer, "Charlotte York, ..."

Then Davis and his helpers lead the animals into the starting boxes. A mechanical rabbit whizzes by, squeaking and sending out blue sparks. The doors snap open and the greyhounds storm away, a vortex of bodies. Their paws toss sand into the air as they chase around the oval for 30 seconds. They reach speeds of up to 72 kilometers per hour. (...)

In December 2020, the oldest continuously operating dog track in the United States was on its last legs. Two years earlier, Florida had more dog tracks than any other US state: eleven of the 17 tracks nationwide were located here. At the end of 2020 there were still three. About 2000 dogs started.

Concern about animal abuse in the entertainment business

In 2018, Florida's voters were given the opportunity to approve a constitutional amendment to ban dog betting by December 31, 2020. The dog racing industry insisted that citizens would reject it, but the amendment was passed by a large majority. The main reason was the growing concern about the abuse of animals occurring in the entertainment business, not just in circuses.

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