Members of the public will have a unique opportunity to tour several Florida greyhound tracks and their on-site kennels under a program announced by the National Greyhound Association (NGA) today. The two-hour guided tours are free with advance registration.
NGA Executive Director Jim Gartland said the tours are designed to promote transparency and educate the public about the care of greyhounds at the track, as well as stewardship of the breed.
“Tour guests will get an intimate understanding of the facilities, sleeping spaces, feeding, care and daily routine that racing greyhounds experience,” Gartland noted. “It’s a great opportunity for people to separate fact from fiction about the lives of these canine athletes.”
Gartland said one of the goals of the tour program is to show people the similarities between how racing greyhounds and family pets live their daily lives. “The tour guests will see that greyhounds eat, sleep, work and play in a way that correlates very closely to the world of our family pets,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons why racers make such great pets when they retire.”
More than 95 percent of all racing greyhounds are either retired back to the farm or placed in adoptive homes when their racing careers end. Over the past three decades, more than 150,000 retired racers have transitioned into lives as beloved family pets. Greyhounds are known for their gentle, loving dispositions, and they are accustomed to being around people and other dogs, so they are well suited to life in homes with children and multiple pets.
Derby Lane, located in St. Petersburg, and the Palm Beach Kennel Club, located in West Palm Beach, are the first two tracks to open their doors under the NGA program. The Daytona Beach Kennel Club will also offer tours on dates soon to be announced. Derby Lane tours are available on selected Saturdays in September and October. Palm Beach Kennel Club tours are available on selected Thursdays in September and October.
A complete tour schedule and online registration is available at www.greyhoundkenneltours.com.