- Florida Governor
Stop cocaine use in greyhound racing
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Did you know that racing dogs test positive for serious drugs, including cocaine?
On June 29, 2017, ABC First Coast News revealed that there were 18 cocaine positives at Florida’s Orange Park dog track in the first four months of 2017. Stories from the Associated Press/New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC World News Tonight, Great Britain’s Daily Mail, Canada’s CBC and other outlets across the world soon followed. The Animal Rescue Site and the Humane Society of the United States also blogged about it.
Now, new reporting shows that the kennel worker involved, Charles F. McClellan has a long history of humane offenses and drug violations. In 2013, he failed to report the death of a racing greyhound as required by statute. In 2012, when one of his dogs tested positive for oxymorphone, his license was revoked and he was assessed a fine of $5,000. But later, when he claimed the drugging was “inadvertent,” the state reinstated his license and reduced the fine to $1,000!
In the latest case, a dog named Flicka was found with cocaine in her system on six different occasions! Ten of the twelve dogs involved are owned by Julia Ward, the current President of industry front group the National Greyhound Association. And more, the kennel where the dogs tested positive is owned by NGA board member Steve Sarras, a politically connected recipient of greyhound subsidies in West Virginia. Kennel worker Charles F. McClellan has had his license suspended but neither he, nor Ward or Sarras have been criminally charged.
Unfortunately, this is only the latest case of greyhounds suffering abuse in an apparent race fixing scheme. In January, cocaine was found in five greyhounds within two weeks at Derby Lane, another Florida dog track. The man responsible, championship “dogman” Malcolm McCallister, lost his racing license. He didn’t even pay a fine and no criminal charges were ever brought.
Back in 2004, our investigations revealed that greyhounds test positive all over the country. 119 dogs were drugged in the Sunshine State alone that year.
If you are as disgusted as I am with this callous and greedy industry, please take the time now to sign our petition to Governor Rick Scott. Urge him to bring Ward, Sarras, McClellan and McCallister to justice!
- Florida Governor
I am writing to ask you to help stop the drugging of greyhound dogs by the racing industry in your state.
ABC First Coast News has revealed that eighteen cocaine positives have just occurred at Orange Park in Jacksonville. At Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, five dogs tested cocaine positive over a two-week period in January. In 2004, 119 cocaine-positives were reported statewide. This has got to stop!
The use of illegal drugs on greyhounds is not only inhumane, but also amounts to race fixing.
Please order an immediate investigation into this ongoing problem. There are twelve operating greyhound tracks in Florida, and as long they remain open, thousands of dogs will continue to suffer.
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