Group supporting amendment to end dog racing calls on opponents to disavow accused animal abuser

A group supporting the constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida wants greyhound dog racers to publicly reject a member of their group charged with 11 counts of animal cruelty.

The Yes on 13 campaign – the group that wants to  ban dog racing – said Jesse James Hodges, accused of animal cruelty in Louisiana, had joined the official “No on 13” Facebook group, which required administrative approval to join.

Hodges was arrested and charged when 11 of his dogs showed “obvious signs of being neglected” with “ribs and backbones showing and skin clinging,” according to a police report. The dogs were kept on chains without adequate shelter, or in a cage built around a tree.

Dog racing ban advocates also said Hodges “appears to be linked to a website used by dog fighters,” and said the main photo on his Facebook page depicts two young puppies with a severed pig head.

The Yes on 13 campaign said Hodges posted a “message of solidarity” with the greyhound racing industry on Facebook where Hodges said he “come(s) as a friend” and asked for help fighting animal protection groups. A screenshot of the post shows one person calling Hodges a “hound brother.”

Jennifer Newcome, administrator of the No on 13 Facebook group and chairman of the Committee to Support Greyhounds (a group which supports greyhound racing), said Hodges has since been removed from the Facebook group.

“As soon as we realized he had had those charges pending, we immediately removed him from our group,” Newcome said. “We don’t support any kind of animal abuse whatsoever.”

Voters may still not get to decide whether to end Florida greyhound racing in November. A Tallahassee judge kicked the measure off the ballot in early August saying it misled voters and its intention was not clear. The decision was appealed, and legal arguments are set for Wednesday before the Florida Supreme Court.

CD Davidson-Hiers
CD Davidson-Hiers is a 2017 summa cum laude graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Creative Writing and French. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key honors societies, and has received multiple writing awards for fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Prior to joining the Florida Phoenix, CD worked at the Tallahassee Democrat and has bylines in Tallahassee Magazine. She is a native of Pensacola and currently lives in Tallahassee with her tabby cat, Faulkner.


  1. By “calling out their opponent”, what they REALLY mean is making a post on social media reguarding it, knowing perfectly well that they have blocked this same opponent from seeing their posts. And then they claim that it was unanswered… Well, no kidding- we cannot address a post that we cannot see…
    They are really reaching at this point, contacting the media about one person out of the 3,000 who have liked our page. When we were made aware of the pending charges, the person in question was immediately removed from the group…
    So now, the question is this… Is the Yes on 13 campaign going to disavow the Humane Society of the United States? Although they have been one of the biggest financial contributers to the Yes on 13 campaign, they are riddled with deceit and scandal. HSUS has openly supported Michael Vick, convicted animal abuser and dog fighting ring operator. HSUS supported the sexual predator on their payroll, Wayne Pacelle, and attempted to cover up these scandals, essentially trying to quiet victims of #MeToo from being heard. To go along with the Yes on 13 logic, these connections must surely mean that Yes on 13 supports animal abuse and sexually motivated attacks. Otherwise, why would they be partnered with and accepting donations from this group?
    This is nothing more than a desperate attempt on the part of Yes on 13 to throw stones from glass houses. WE have removed the accused animal abuser from our group. Yes on 13- will you do the same with HSUS?

  2. Like all forms of gambling, greyhound racing attracts elements intent on making a quick buck. Typically, these people have little regard for animal welfare, yet they are readily accepted among the other participants in the industry, who “look after their own” by helping to draw a curtain of silence and denial around any acts of cruelty or neglect. Animal welfare is an expense, in an industry where Job One is to make a profit. This is why attempts to “reform” the cruelty out of greyhound racing are doomed to failure. The only option is to shut it down by voting Yes on Amendment 13.

  3. How about the HSUS saying Micheal Vick is a responsible dog owner, the same HSUS pouring money in to end dog racing, talk about hypocrisy , the yes group is nothing but liars, scammers and hypocrites,

  4. Didn’t the HSUS endorse Michael Vick, who, last I remember, was charged and convicted of animal cruelty because he was part of a dog fighting ring? And isn’t the HSUS a large supporter of the yes on 13 group? Didn’t PETA steal a puppy from a child in Virginia – directly from the front porch- and have it put down before the family could reclaim it? Don’t they support yes on 13 too?

  5. What is newsworthy here is the FACT that Mr. Hodges has animal cruelty accusations in Louisiana related to him. The rest of this story is beauty shop talk. Joining a social media group does not give a group or person any credentials of value. “Administrative approval” to join a public group on Facebook does not require a background check. Apparently that is the action Protect Dogs-Yes on 13 campaign takes before approving members; their campaign which has received plentiful donations can afford to pay for the time and any processing fees to run individual background checks. It would appear they have so much blood money to expend that they are now running background checks on members of Committee to Support Greyhounds.

  6. FACT: Protect Dogs-13 campaign did not “reject” or “disavow” Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump who is well publicized for trophy hunting. Lara Trump along w/ AG Pam Bondi headlined a fundraising event in Connecticut which benefited the Yes on 13 campaign. FACT: Protect Dogs campaign did not “reject” or “disavow” Humane Society of US who has publicly embraced Micheal Vick. His dog fighting & charges are well publicized. HSUS welcomed Vick as a spokesperson after his employer Philadelphia Eagles donated $50,000 to HSUS.
    FACT: The most recent sex scandal surrounding former HSUS CEO Wayne Parcelle.
    It appears Protect Dogs campaign has a clear conscience and turns its head to their own blood money donors. The most outstanding FACT in this matter is Committee to Support Greyhounds removed Mr. Hodges upon learning of his legal accusations and has not taken any donations from him. Therefore they have nothing to disavow; however Protect Dogs campaign has plenty to consider about disavowing two donor sources. But will they and return the money? That’s the real news.

  7. Fact is that Mr. Hodges has apparently been labeled as guilty. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? The H.S.U.S mislead and misinformed local authorities. How can someone enter your property and remove property without a search warrant? How can a local animal control agency then charge you a fee of $5,000.00 to hold your dogs until court date to prove guilt or innocence? It’s all a racket to extort money from the average person. #illstandwithyou


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