TAMPA, Fla. — During the November election, Floridians will be able to vote on whether to end greyhound racing in the state. Critics and proponents of Amendment 13 showed up in Tampa Monday morning, trying to sway voters.
"It's horrific,” said Sonia Stratemann.
Coming out of the gate on race day, December 26, 2017, “Bart” was a healthy greyhound.
"When I first saw the video, we were so afraid Bart wasn't going to make it,” said Stratemann.
“Bart” wipes out seconds later on the track at Palm Beach Kennel Club, snapping his femur in two.
"My daughters and I just cried. It was very sad,” said Stratemann, Owner Elite Greyhounds Rescue.
Stratemann and her daughters got a call from a vet tasked with putting Bart down but stepped in to save him instead. The owner dropped him off the day after the race.
"He didn't have any pain medication or anything when this first happened because they were planning on just euthanizing him."
Thirteen screws and a plate later, Stratemann says, “Bart’s x-ray should motivate you to vote 'yes' on Amendment 13."
"There's no way to know how many dogs are breaking their legs and having other injuries,” she said.
Amendment 13 would phase out Florida’s greyhound racing by 2020, an industry some say it being unfairly targeted.
"They'll lose the kennels because people will be out of work,” said Roberta Brodeur.
This Pinellas County woman says she raises and owns racing greyhounds.
"They get out of the kennel in the morning. They have a first turnout at 5 o'clock in the morning usually. They're out there for a good hour and a half because they clean every single kennel, every single morning,” said Brodeur.
But Bart’s rescuer says there are too many like him at risk of catastrophic injury on the track.
"Now we're just so happy seeing him run around the yard is just the best. It's the best thing,” said Stratemann.