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Lawmakers Urge Protection For Racing Dogs

Christopher D’Arcy, owner of D’Arcy Kennel LLC in St. Petersburg, wants a judge to order the state to pay damages for the loss of value of his property, including racing dogs that the lawsuit said could previously be sold for up to $50,000.
Rainer Hungershausen

Lawmakers from around the state gathered Wednesday to urge members of the House and Senate to pass greyhound protection laws in this year’s legislative session.

According to a report from GREY2K USA, a greyhound protection agency, and the ASPCA, there were 74 documented racing dog deaths in Florida in the last eight months of 2013. 

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Coral Springs), who’s filed a house bill calling for the decoupling of gambling and racing industries, spoke out against Florida’s dog racing industry.

“It is just the norm that putting dogs to sleep because they have broken legs is OK. It’s not OK. This is a bipartisan way to show that enough is enough,” Moskowitz said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach), also threw his support behind the bill.

“If we’re able to have a bill that accomplishes the objective of decoupling, we should not allow that bill to be hijacked by gambling special interests, who would see it accomplish a different objective,” Gaetz said.

In another measure to protect racing dogs, Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) has filed a bill requiring strict records of all injuries to racing dogs.

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