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Rhode Island clinging to greyhound racing

As Rhode Island debates the fate of its only greyhound racing track, an advocacy group is planning a weekend rally calling for an end to the sport in the state, the Associated Press reports.

The group GREY2K USA, a chief proponent of a successful ballot question in Massachusetts last year to ban greyhound racing at the state’s two tracks, is planning a Saturday rally in Providence to urge Rhode Islanders to ban the sport as well.

The Massachusetts ban takes effect in January. And New Hampshire’s two remaining tracks plan to end live racing.

“The handwriting is on the wall, and it makes little sense for lawmakers to stand up and buck this trend,” said Christine Dorchak, president and general counsel of the organization.

In Rhode Island the debate has focused more on the sport’s profitability rather than on the treatment of dogs.¬† Legislators awant to expand greyhound racing. Over the objection of Gov. Don Carcieri, lawmakers have moved to force a bankrupt, state-licensed slot parlor to run 200 days of live racing at its greyhound track even though current law only requires 125.

Carcieri, a Republican, vetoed the legislation, but lawmakers in the Democratic-dominated General Assembly say they expect to override it. Supporters of the dog racing bill say it’s necessary to save 225 jobs, including pari-mutuel clerks, bartenders and security workers, and¬†preserve tax revenue. They also argue the public shouldn’t be penalized for what they say are the bad business decisions of the owners of the gambling parlor, called Twin River.


Comment from Hank
Time July 16, 2009 at 7:25 am

Shut the track down! It’s time we ended greyhound racing. That industry kills so many dogs that don’t make the grade, and has so many dogs break their legs when racing those tracks. Shut them down and save the dogs!

Comment from Eighteenpaws
Time July 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm

That this era finally enlightened to eradicating and punishing animal abuses can still allow dog racing is unbelievable. Is there much difference between those who engage in “dog fighting” and those who promote dog racing? I cannot think of a single resulting difference. I know that my next adoptions are of retired racing greyhounds. Hopefully we soon see this adoptable population as an element of our cruel and unthinking past.

Comment from charmaine
Time July 17, 2009 at 4:23 pm

SHUT IT DOWN! Why do you think so many other states are finally closing their tracks?? The public is becoming aware of the cruelty and inhumanity in the racing industry…how greyhounds suffer and die for the sake of entertainment and profit!

Comment from chuck
Time July 19, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Twin river is a bunch of crooks shut the whole operation down machines and all. They call this place a casino really I don’t see any craps tables just a bunch of crap on the dog track. The closing of this dump is about 15 years overdue