Your help is needed now to pass a bill to keep dog racing out of Kansas.
In a wonderful legislative twist, a bill that was introduced to help bring slot machines to the former dog tracks of Kansas has now been successfully amended to do just the opposite! In its current form, Senate Substitute for House Bill 2055 makes expanded gambling impermissible at these locations for at least the next twenty years. Senators will vote on this measure on Tuesday, so please act quickly!
Dog racing proponents have been working for over a decade to obtain a favorable legislative vehicle to cash in and re-open their old tracks as racetrack casinos (racinos). But the passage of HB 2055 will put these aims out of reach.
Dog racing was first approved in Kansas in 1986, when voters decided to amend the state constitution to allow it. The Pari-Mutuel Racing Act was passed into law in 1987 and the first dog tracks opened in Wichita and Kansas City two years later. A third opened in Frontenac in 1995.
Even though Kansas is home to National Greyhound Association and also hosts the "Greyhound Hall of Fame," this has done nothing to save dog racing from its rightful decline. The closure of Camptown (2000), Wichita (2007) and then the Woodlands (2008), was preceded by years of financial loss and documented greyhound suffering. In its last months of operation, the Woodlands reported eighty racing injuries, including dogs with broken legs, a "ruptured chest," a dislocated spine, and a torn shoulder. Seventeen dogs died. But just last year, the legislature restored greyhounds to the definition of dogs under the anti-cruelty statute, and now we have an opportunity to make sure these gentle friends stay out of track cages for good.
Please sign this petition to remind lawmakers that greyhound racing is a dying industry and propping it up with slot machine profits will not only hurt the state but resuscitate a cruel industry.
Together, we can make sure greyhounds are protected for good.