Greyhound Racing Protest at Derby Lane

07/03/07 Dawn Morgan
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:

Lead: A coalition of animal rights volunteers protested Saturday outside of the Derby Lane Greyhound Racetrack in St. Petersburg. WMNF’s Dawn Morgan has the story.


(Sound - Brian Wilson: Another stop in their tour de track campaign. )

Brian Wilson is a volunteer with the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. This past Saturday volunteers like Wilson representing several animal rights organizations protested Greyhound racing on the side of Gandy Blvd in front of Derby Lanes.

(Brian Wilson: Protesting every track in the state, at Derby Lanes because they’re year round racing. His sign reads: learn the ugly truth about greyhound racing.)

John Moyer has been volunteering with Voice for Animals for over ten years. He said the sleek racing dogs are mistreated and he participated in the protest to raise awareness.

(Moyer, FL Voices for Animals: Trying to let people know it’s not a painless sport but they don’t see what happens behind the scenes. In cages up to 22 hours a day. Fed horrible food. Live a sad, sad life.)

WMNF asked Moyer if he thinks a solution can be worked out with kennel and racetracks or if he thinks racing should be outlawed altogether.

(Moyer: Ideally, racing would end. They’re injured on the track, exploited. Not treated the way they should be treated.)

Vera Filipelli, a former greyhound trainer, is the Director of Media Relations at Derby Lane. Filipelli says that the greyhound racing industry has made strides in the last decade and that the protesters have outdated information.

(Vera2: Wonder if anyone has ever held a license and worked back in a racing kennel. 22 hours in a cage is unfounded. Several media has been back in the kennel. As a trainer, my dogs were out many more hours than that. Diets better than most people.)

Filipelli explains that the dogs are bred on farms around the south and Midwest and are bought by individuals or racing kennels at about 15 months old. The greyhounds are trained to run the oval racetracks and because there are over 40 tracks in the United States, if a dog isn’t successful at one, its individual racing style might make it a better fit at another track. When a dog can no longer race, Filipelli says the animals have a place to go home to thanks to the adoption group Greyhound Pets of America.

(Vera: Greyhound adoptions have gone up significantly. The industry has made strides. At DL, we have 100% G.A. We work with Greyhound Pets of America, the nations largest GA group solely dedicated to greyhound welfare.)

But protester Cynthia Rennick, a volunteer with ARFF and Greyhound REscue & Adoptions of Tampa Bay, or GREAT, sees greyhound adoption as a symptom, not a solution of the problem.

(Rennick – There’s a huge amount of greyhounds that have to be adopted out every year because of the industry that keeps breeding them.
Rennick 2- A lot of people say they have old souls. They’re very sweet animals, get their feelings hurt when you yell at them.)

More information on Derby Lane and greyhound adoption can be found at Reporting for WMNF, this is Dawn Morgan.

Derby Lane:

Animal Rights Foundation of FL (ARFF):

FL Voices for Animals:

Greyhound Pets of America:

Greyhound Rescue and Adoptions of Tampa Bay (GREAT):

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