WUFT News

Organizations Push To Pass Laws Protecting Racing Greyhounds

By on December 4th, 2013
Animal activists in Florida are calling for measures to protect greyhounds in the racing industry. Greyhounds can race at speeds up to 45 mph.

Rainer Hungershausen / Flickr

Animal activists in Florida are calling for measures to protect greyhounds in the racing industry. Greyhounds can race at speeds up to 45 mph.

Animal activists in Florida are calling for measures to protect greyhounds in the state’s large racing industry.

Florida is home to 12 of the last 21 greyhound tracks in the nation.

Last month, sixteen animal protection organizations sent a letter to the Florida House and Senate Gaming Committees, calling for the passage of two greyhound protection measures. The letter asked lawmakers to pass a greyhound injury reporting law and to eliminate a state mandate requiring gaming facilities to hold live dog races.

Executive Director of the greyhound protection agency, GREY2K USA, Carey Theil, said dogs across Florida are suffering serious injuries on Florida tracks and believes the law should change.

According to the letter sent to lawmakers, Florida is only one of two states, other than Alabama, where dog tracks don’t greyhound injuries to the public.

Theil said he doesn’t understand why these two states have opted out of this procedure.

“Greyhound breeders say this is not a problem…that injuries are rare,” he said. “If that’s the case, they should support Greyhound injury reporting because it would prove their point and it would help the industry.”

However, based on data from other states and public information, Theil suspects that greyhound injuries are common in Florida.

He said similar injury reporting laws passed in other states have helped reduced the number of greyhounds euthanized. However, Theil said there is no way to show how effective these laws would be in Florida because no one is keeping record of any injuries.

As of May 2013, Florida greyhound tracks are required to report to the state any deaths of racing greyhounds that occur at a track or kennel. Theil said Florida needs to now pass an injury reporting law.

“It’s a law that will literally save Greyhound lives,” he said.

Still, according to Jack Cory, lobbyist and a representative for the Florida Greyhound Association, racing is a unique tourist attraction to the state and eliminating the sport would affect more than Florida’s diversity of entertainment.

“It would cost the state $22 million dollars in direct revenue,” Cory said. “Hundreds of millions of dollars in indirect revenue, thousands of jobs, and we’d put over 8,000 beautiful greyhounds at risk.”

He said saving the lives of greyhounds requires more than filing an injury report.

“Having a politically motivated reporting process does not stop the injuries on animals or athletes whether it be on a football field or a baseball field,” Cory said.

He said the state needs to have better track conditions to stop injuries before they actually happen.

Regardless of revenue, organizations, like GREY2K, claim dogs are paying a price higher than any profit the industry may contribute to Florida’s economy.

“These race tracks really have become poker rooms that happen to have dogs running around in circles with no embedding on the dogs,” Theil said. ”A report that just came out by a company called Spectrum showed that in 2012, Florida’s dog tracks lost 35 million dollars on greyhound racing while at the same time, turning in a profit of 39 million dollars on their poker rooms.”

Jody Houston, the Outreach Coordinator of Goldcoast Greyhounds Adoptions, said she disagrees with GREY2K and believes the organization may have other interests in mind.

“They make a great deal of money and they give a great deal of money to present their opinions to our government,” Houston said. “I don’t necessarily feel they have the best interest of greyhounds in mind when they are talking about shutting down racing in the state of Florida.”

She added that these animals experience common injuries on Florida tracks like professional athletes do in sports today.

“They do suffer injuries,” Houston said. “They are going up to 45 miles an hour. If they trip or if they have a pile up, they get hurt. It’s quite a bit close to the numbers of injuries from professional football or professional baseball.” Houston said.

The Florida House and Senate Gaming Committees have yet to form a decision on proposed measures.

The Florida Greyhound Association and the National Greyhound Association will be reporting to the State Senate Gaming Committee next week to present a system to improve Florida tracks.


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  • Robert Gross

    Grey2k USA definitely has ulterior motives when it comes to their greyhound activism. They collect hundreds of thousands of dollars every year for husband and wife operators Carey Theil and Chris Dorchak, while doing absolutely nothing to help greyhounds.

  • Carey Theil

    Robert Gross is a greyhound breeder, and his claims about our work as a non-profit organization are not based in fact. His figures are wrong, and he is misrepresenting the work we do. Our mission is to pass greyhound protection laws, phase out dog racing, and promote greyhound adoption. We are effective, and that is why greyhound breeders attack us.

    • Robert Gross

      Greyhound breeders don’t attack you, Carey. Greyhound breeders defend themselves against your lies and slanderous statements.

  • Robert Gross

    My figures come from the Internal Revenue Service and the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. From 2006 – 2011, Carey and his wife, Christine Dorchak, have collected more than $2.5 million dollars for their “non-profit” Grey2k USA. How much has directly benefited greyhounds? Less than 1.5%. Even the HSUS can boast about better numbers than that. These two individuals make a living by slandering hard working Americans.

    • CTheil

      Your “figures” come from websites where greyhound breeders (like you) try to look through these documents, come to conclusions that are not factually accurate, and then create wild conspiracy theories that you spread on the internet.

      • Robert Gross

        Carey, I can understand your desire to perpetuate the Grey2k USA fraud. Your lies and distortions about greyhound racing pay to keep the roof over your head; food in your mouth; allows you and your wife, Chris Dorchak, to take nice trips around the country and the world.

        The numbers I quote are figures, not “figures”. Review the IRS 990 documents at GuideStar (http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/04-3554776/grey2k-usa.aspx).

        Visit the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and see how much Grey2k USA paid Carey and Chris for their “lobbying” efforts since 2005 ($400,000+) – http://www.sec.state.ma.us/LobbyistPublicSearch/.

        Someone is not being truthful about greyhound racing. Is it the two individuals at Grey2k USA? Or is it thousands upon thousands of adopters, owners, breeders and trainers of these wonderful animals? For the answer, all you have to do is look at the happy racing greyhound.

        • CTheil

          As I have told you many times Robert, you are counting the same figures twice. The Massachusetts figures you are citing are not additional expenditures. They are the same salary expenditures you are seeing on our 990 forms.

          You know this, because I have told you repeatedly.

          The fact is, we have a professional staff that is effective, and every employee earns a meager salary. That includes me.

          Now you can double count these figures, and invent stories, and misread these documents, and come up with crazy conspiracy theories, all you want. These conspiracy theories may make you feel better, but they will do absolutely nothing to save your cruel industry.

          These conspiracy theories are based on lies and misrepresentations. They aren’t taken seriously by anyone outside of your small little group of greyhound breeders, because anyone with a grain of common sense sees them for what they are: crazy rants by people who have a vested interest in commercial dog racing.

          We will continue to present facts about greyhound racing. Meanwhile, you can continue to perpetuate these conspiracy theories. Good luck with that.

          • Robert Gross

            Carey, you’re beginning to sound desperate. Facts are facts. You and Chris collected $93,480 from Grey2k USA as “president” and “executive director”. According to the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Grey2k USA paid you and Chris $64,718.00 for lobbying. Not a bad “take” for slandering hard working Americans.

            Again, I can understand the desperation when your only source of income is being threatened. Perhaps the time is coming when you and your wife may have to consider getting jobs.

          • CTheil

            This is exactly the kind of nonsense I’m talking about Robert.

            This is our 2012 IRS Form 990:

            http://www.grey2kusa.org/pdf/990_2012.pdf

            In 2012 I earned $41,580, as the executive director of a national non-profit organization. Christine earns the same. That’s it. Neither of us earned any other compensation. No lobbying fees, no legal fees, nothing.

            Of the $41,580 I earned, $32,359 was reported to the state of Massachusetts lobbyist division. That $32,359 comes out of my salary of $41,580. It is not additional compensation.

            You and your ilk, who have a vested interest in the cruel dog racing industry, either cannot read these forms, or you are intentionally misrepresenting what they say. Because your “figures” are literally pulled out of thin air, and have absolutely no basis in fact.

            It’s sort of like the “chess tournament” conspiracy theory you are spreading. I played in a very small chess event in Tallahassee while I was there lobbying for greyhound protection laws. That event is not something anyone would ever travel to Tallahassee for. It is a local event that occurs at night.

            Now your crack “researchers” (Ha!) discovered that I had played in this chess event, and that led to a grand conspiracy theory that GREY2K USA was paying for me to travel all over the country to play in chess tournaments.

            Do you even realize how crazy this stuff sounds? Do you have any idea of how crazy you look when you accuse us of secretly being conservative anti-gambling activists one minute, then pawns of a competing gambling interest, then true-believer animal rights extremists, and then con artists? Can’t you even stick to one crazy conspiracy theory Don’t you realize that these crazy theories are mutually exclusive?

            Similarly, do you realize how small you look when you get the police report from the 1992 accident in which our President nearly died, and then mock her for it? Apparently not.

            The only reason we haven’t sued you for defamation (yet) is that you aren’t having an impact. It’s literally not worth our time. If anything you are helping our work to end greyhound racing. I’m happy to have opponents who run around personally attacking us in the craziest of ways, rather than debate the issue at hand.

            So good luck with that. But do be careful about what you say, because you are not only circulating untrue statements, you are doing so knowingly. And eventually it might just catch up with you.

          • Robert Gross

            For something that’s “not worth your time”, you seem to be spending quite a lot of time trying to defend yourself. We’ll continue to educate the public with the FACTS about greyhound racing, as well as the lies of Grey2k USA.

  • He Hate Me

    Carey Theil and his band of charlatans have never been “about the greyhounds”. As their website begs for donations left and right and around every corner.

    He and his wife are a couple of grifters – as detailed by Robert Gross in his posts – they’ve bilked millions of dollars from unwitting donors who think they’re giving monies to help greyhounds. Since Grey$K’s inception, they’ve managed to boondoggle the voters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to criminalize greyhounds racing. And how they did it was to reach out to folks in the Western part of the state who had no knowledge of how well the dogs in MA were cared for – every track had on site adoption facilities and 100% adoption.

    Another thing – and Carey you can try to disprove the following if you wish – when Carey and his wife travel… on the donation dollar… to Tallahassee to argue against racing, he is frequenting chess tournaments instead. Carey, shouldn’t you be spending your donors money in a manner in which it was intended? Oh, wait… they don’t really know what their money goes to… do they?

    The real issue Carey and his wife are trying to fight is… are you ready for it… GAMBLING. He’s a board member of Stop Predatory Gambling (on the following link please scroll down to where you’ll see he’s the rep from Mass… funny as he’s really from Oregon. http://stoppredatorygambling.org/about-us/board-members/).

    So you see, Christine and Carey don’t care about greyhounds – they never have. But, what they’ve tapped into has been like hitting the lottery.

    And btw… Bob Gross isn’t a greyhound breeder. He’s simply an adopter of retired greyhounds and a true Pro-Greyhound individual… unlike someone coughCAREYcough else we know.

    • Robert Gross

      Actually, I’ve been an owner and breeder of racing greyhounds since 1978. And proud to be so.

    • CTheil

      These wild conspiracy theories about our work as a nonprofit organization may make you feel better, but they will not save the cruelty of greyhound racing. And they are not based in fact. That is why no one, outside of a small group of greyhound breeders, takes them seriously.

      • He Hate Me

        Wild conspiracies? Carrie, you’re as dense as ironwood. There are no conspiracies, simply people who are capable of disseminating information and calling a spade a spade – or a sham, whichever.

        Fact of the matter is, your group hasn’t spearheaded any legislation that’s passed in over 5 years. And even at that, everyone knows that Question 3 was passed under false pretenses – when you have to rally support from people who have no idea what goes on, well, that is the liberal way; BS people into believing something and sell them a bill of goods. Truth be damned.

        And don’t fool yourself, Carrie, people are being enlightened about your scam. As you know, the internet is a wonderful tool.

  • Karyn_Zoldan

    According to the letter sent to lawmakers, Florida is only one of two
    states, other than Alabama, where dog tracks don’t greyhound injuries to
    the public.

    Yes and no. Arizona does report but just barely. My grocery list has more details than what Arizona Department of Racing injury data reports. According to Director Bill Walsh – 5.105.01 – Injury reports and records – No later than 10 days following the end of the month, the Department shall obtain a list of all racing related injuries and deaths to the animals reported to the veterinarian. The key words here are “reported to” – what about the injuries and deaths that are not reported? For instance, Atomic Charm – http://tucsoncitizen.com/tucson-tails/2013/01/29/dead-greyhound-at-tucson-greyhound-park/

  • b hyatt

    The industry in Australia in peppered with ‘Roberts’. They love these diversion tactics. If they gripe enough about your lavish lifestyles they think people will be diverted from the real issue. This is an industry that has no defence – an industry that factors in a death rate for one of the most gentle breeds. Thousands of dogs suffer so the likes of ‘Robert’ can make a buck. What a freakin hero

 

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