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The Humane Society jumps into the slots debate - with $500,000 to buy anti-slots ads

The Humane Society of the United States is making a $500,000 contribution to an anti-slots group, Truth for Our Community, to help oppose Miami-Dade's slot machine referendum.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the national organization, said Monday that the organization decided to help fight the referendum. It opposes the addition of slot machines to Flagler Dog Track, one of three parimutuels in Miami-Dade that stand to benefit from the Jan. 29 referendum.

"We're not anti-gambling, per se,'' Pacelle said. "We're concerned about this new type of gambling at the greyhound track keeping the dogs running."

He said greyhounds are often confined to small cages for up to 20 hours a day, suffer serious injuries from running and are "discarded" after their use to the racing industry is over.

"We think that the vast majority of people in Miami-Dade care about dogs and this information may tip the balance in the direction of a no vote," he said.

The money will be spent mostly on radio ads in English and Spanish, said. The group has 36,000 members in Miami-Dade, he said.