Friday, April 22, 2011

“The times they are a-changin’.” – Bob Dylan

What a greyt week it has been.  Florida’s House Economic Committie debated and voted on House Bill 1145.  I watched it, streamed live.  A wonderful, educational experience for me.  I have never seen government in “action”.

First and foremost, this bill is about decoupling racing, not banning.  Let the free market run its course.  Some will end racing, some will not.  The largest employers will not.

Representative Young presented the bill she is sponsoring to decouple racing from gaming establishments.

Jack Cory, lobbyist for the greyhound breeders, stated his case.  He talked about the love the breeders have for their greyhounds.  Right. 

I know of a certain breeder who voices profusely to love her dogs (who live in a different state).  One of these beloved dogs raced for years, then was used as a “brood bitch” for years and is now being offered up for adoption at the age of 11.  11 years old, oh so beloved and offered up for adoption?  Right.

Marilyn Varnberg spoke on behalf of the greyhounds.  She is with Greyhound Adoptions of Florida.  It was touching all the years she has committed her life to helping the broken racers.  No one challenged her or questioned her.  She is a total marvel.

Finally, one Representative brought up the crux of the issue.  The greed of the breeders.  He stated it vocally and unequivocally.

It was emotional, nerve-wracking and blood pressure raising for me.  In the end, joyous.

The final vote from the committee was 16 to 1.  It has been approved and goes to full House next week.

And not to worry about the greyhounds being with a “job” they never applied for.  Rescue groups are quite accustomed to the rotation of non-performing dogs, intervening when some may be euthanize.  I have the utmost faith the groups will accept the greyhounds from the few tracks chosing not to continue racing.

The answer is blowin’ in the wind”.

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