Greyhound kennel suing Massachusetts over racing ban

Posted By elaine on May 19, 2010

This is an article from the Boston Globe.  I think the horse racing point is very interesting, but as I have talked about in another story, the end of greyhound racing could have a bittersweet result for lovers of the breed whether they are for or against racing.  Fortunately,  people learned to love these great dogs before what could be the end of the sport. 

The owners of a kennel in Massachusetts that for decades trained greyhound dogs to compete at racetracks has sued the state on the grounds that the 2008 referendum banning betting on dog racing violated their constitutional rights.

The owners of North Shore Kennel are seeking damages in excess of $1 million, arguing that the new law, which took effect Jan. 1, required them to prematurely retire 81 dogs.

“The referendum took people’s property away without any compensation,’’ said Doug Pizzi, a spokesman for the kennel. “That’s unconstitutional. It was a taking by the Commonwealth. We’ll be happy to have our day in court.’’

Officials in Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office, which represents the state in legal matters, declined comment.

In the lawsuit, which was filed last month, the owners say their investment in raising and housing the dogs has been “lost or substantially diminished’’ by the enactment of the law. They said it costs them $5,000 to raise each greyhound.

They contend that the law violates their equal-protection rights under the Constitution, because it singles out dog racing while the state allows horse racing.

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