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Florida voters could decide greyhound racing track's future

Posted at 6:41 PM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 19:03:14-05

"They are very sensitive, sweet souls," said Don Goldstein, G.R.E.A.T. Inc. 

They're the kind of dog Goldstein has fallen hard for. 

RELATED: Tampa Bay lawmakers want Greyhound racing tracks shuttered

"Boomer is actually the ninth greyhound we've adopted over those 25 years," he said. 

Boomer is a retired racing greyhound, one of four he takes care of right now. 

Goldstein runs a rescue group and advocates against an industry he considers not only cruel but a waste of taxpayer money. 

"As more and more people are educated about the industry itself and what goes on behind the curtain, we think people are changing their attitude about it," he said. 

Goldstein says a Senate study found Florida's greyhound racing tracks cost the state anywhere from $1 million to $3 million in losses each year. He says they rely on attached gambling operations like Derby Lane's card room to stay afloat. 

Now there's a push to let voters decide this November to shut them down.

"There's so much suffering in this industry. We have thousands of greyhounds, as many as 8,000 greyhounds enduring lives of confinement at these tracks," said Carey Theil of GREY2K USA.

Theil says on average, 3 racing greyhounds die every day in Florida. 

But shutting them down, 18 in Florida, would put thousands out of jobs according to industry advocates. 

"It is a bad proposal. It could cost over 3,000 Florida jobs and put over 15,000 beautiful greyhounds at risk," said Jack Cory of the Florida Greyhound Association. 

Two thirds of the country's greyhound tracks are located in Florida so voters could determine their future and more. 

"If greyhound racing is eliminated in Florida, the industry will die," said Goldstein. 

An Executive Board in Tallahassee votes on putting the Amendment on the November 2018 ballot this Spring. 

If it ends up on the ballot, the amendment needs 60 percent support to pass.