|Greyhound Protection League
MORE SICKNESS AND DEATH HITS FLORIDA RACING DOGS
Mar 20, 2003 - Greyhound Protection League Calls For State-wide Quarantine
Thursday, March 20, 2003 - St. Petersburg, Florida Ď Racing industry insiders have disclosed to the Greyhound Protection League (GPL) that a lethal kennel cough has already killed several Florida racing greyhounds and threatens hundreds more. The condition is reported to have affected greyhounds held in track compounds at Hollywood, Derby Lane, and West Palm Beach dog tracks. The dogs continue to be raced in spite of dozens of ¤scratchesË over the last few days.
A similar highly contagious disease, ultimately labeled streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, ravaged racing greyhounds nation-wide in 1999. The disease starts as kennel cough, then mutates into fatal hemorrhagic condition that can kill within hours. ¤The structure of dog racing requires the constant movement of racing greyhounds from track to track and state to state. A state-wide quarantine is the only way to stop the spread of this devastating disease,Ë said GPL spokesperson Susan Netboy.
GPL is also calling for a complete shutdown of racing at tracks where an outbreak has already occurred. ¤Racing is extremely stressful to the dog╠s system. Racing a dog that has been exposed but is not yet symptomatic may make the difference between life and death,Ë said Netboy.
The group intends to seek the intervention of Governor Bush, citing their distrust of the vested financial interest held by racing officials and track management and their failure to take adequate preventative measures to protect greyhounds from the nation-wide distemper outbreak that killed 6 greyhounds at the Sarasota track in February this year.
The Greyhound Protection League is a California based, national greyhound advocacy organization.