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Tampa Bay lawmakers want Greyhound racing tracks shuttered

12 of 18 Greyhound racing tracks in Florida
Posted at 5:23 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 04:39:08-05

A constitutional amendment is in the works to phase out Greyhound racing for good in the Sunshine State. The proposed ballot amendment would give voters the choice to put tracks like Derby Lane in St. Pete out of business. 

"It's a green tattoo," said Don Goldstein flipping over his dog's right ear. "There are either two or three numbers and a letter."

'3 2 A' means 'Jazzy' was born in March of 2012 and the first of her litter --- a racing Greyhound retired and now adopted by Goldstein.

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"They're in those cages 22, 23 hours a day. They are fed what's called Four D meat. Four D is the FDA classification for the meat.

"It stands for dead, diseased, decaying and down," said Goldstein of Greyhound Rescue and Adoptions of Tampa Bay. 

Goldstein runs a local Greyhound rescue adopting out Greyhounds from Derby Lane and from tracks across the country. 

Only 18 Greyhound racing tracks are still left in the United States --- 12 of them here in Florida. 

Greyhounds at Derby Lane tested positive for cocaine in January of 2017. 

"I personally believe that if Floridians knew what was going on behind the curtain...I don't think people would be supporting this industry," said Goldstein 

Then in June, a dozen dogs tested positive for cocaine at a Jacksonville track. 

Now Representative Tom Lee (R) of Brandon is pitching a constitutional amendment to phase out Greyhound racing for good in the Sunshine State.

"It phases it out over three years but it lets them keep the card rooms," said Goldstein. 

"In 2015, they lost, the 12 tracks combined, lost $31.6 million, according to the Department of Business and Professional Regulations," said Goldstein. 

But the real reason Goldstein believes these tracks should be shuttered is because of the way animals are treated like a number.

ABC Action News contacted Derby Lane, the Florida Greyhound Association which lobbies for racing and reached out to members of its board, but did not get any response.