Michiana rescuing homeless dogs after Florida bans greyhound racing

WSBT 22 photo

Thousands of dogs will be left without homes in the coming years.

People in Florida voted to ban greyhound racing in the state.

We found out how a local organization is playing a key part in helping the dogs. They plan on finding foster homes in our area.

American Greyhound in Valparaiso is preparing for the influx of greyhounds from Florida.

The number of dogs they plan on helping is still up in the air, but they plan on helping as many as they can.

Greyhound racing has been an attraction for years, but after Tuesday's election, it's clear people don't feel the same way about it.

69 percent of Florida residents voted to ban Greyhound racing by 2021, leaving thousands of dogs with nowhere to go.

“There are so many of them, there is no one person that can take on all,” said Coggins. “I am hearing anywhere from eight to 15,000 dogs. There is no one that could take that many dogs into their home.”

It’s why American Greyhound President Jeff Coggins is prepared and ready to help.

He runs an organization called American Greyhound in Valparaiso that assists in finding foster homes for greyhounds.

“Since it just happened, things are still kind of emotional,” said Coggins. “We take the dogs in and foster them in hopes because we haven’t built a kennel yet. We are in the process of that.”

Coggins is currently building a kennel on his 10 acres of land.

He currently keeps the greyhounds at his home, but with a new kennel, he can accept many more dogs. He says it's perfect timing.

“It just doesn’t happen on the scale that it’s likely to happen in the next two years, where all of the dogs will become surplus and need to go to a group like ours,” said Coggins.

Florida currently hosts 11 of the 17 active dog tracks in the United States.

All of these will be closed by January of 2021, but not all tracks will close at the same time -- which is why Coggins is preparing now.

“In the meantime, we are going to start a campaign to solicit foster homes and adoptive homes, so when the dogs start flowing, we have resources,” said Coggins.

If you are interested in fostering or adopting a greyhound in the future, applications can be found on American Greyhound's website.

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