It wasn't so long ago that Wisconsin had five dog tracks, second only to Florida in terms of total live-racing facilities. This week, the operators of the Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha announced that the track will end racing on New Year's Eve. This will mark the end of greyhound racing in the state.
Apparently the track has lost $17 million over the past seven years. And it's not totally clear yet what will become of all the dogs.
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Antiracing groups like the Massachusetts-based GREY2K USA are delighted. "New Year's Eve will be a very special one for the greyhounds this year," GREY2K's president, Christine Dorchak, told me. Dairyland joins Raynham Park in Massachusetts and Phoenix Greyhound Park, which will both cease live racing the same day.
This could mean several things for Florida. It could mean an influx of greyhounds to this state, already the mecca of greyhound racing in this country. Some of those dogs could go to the many adoption programs here, though if trainers or owners have bothered to pay to transport a dog all the way to Florida, the dog will probably race.
"There are eight states in which dog racing remains legal and operational, and of the 23 dog tracks in existence, Florida has 13!" Dorchak says. "This is something that the people of Florida must change. We encourage residents to go to our homepage, sign up for alerts, and become part of the team that saves thousands and thousands of greyhounds from lives of misery and exploitation in the Sunshine State."
South Floridians can get a chance to interact with dozens of retired racers this Sunday at Woofstock in Fort Lauderdale. There theme is: "Peace, Love, Greyhounds."