SARASOTA (WWSB) - It’s been around for more than three quarters of a century, but last November, Florida voters banned greyhound racing in the state.
The Sarasota Kennel Club has been open and serving Southwest Florida for generations, 75-years to be exact. They will hold their last day of live greyhound racing this Saturday.
The family of Sarasota Kennel Club president Jack Collins, Jr. opened back in 1929. Collins said, “When you’ve been doing the same thing for generations, it’s a little difficult to swallow.”
Most concerning to Collins is that thousands of employees will be laid off. Collins said, “We’re going to downsize. There will be a lot of jobs that won’t be in need anymore because racing won’t exist.”
And that is what Adoptable Greyhounds of Florida coordinator Janet Diehl is concerned about. She proudly voted “no” on Amendment 13 and says although her main focus is seeing every greyhound adopted, many of those who looked after the dogs will be affected.
“Working in the kennels, meeting the trainers that spend 20 hours a day with the dogs on top of the care and love they’re given. I just feel strongly that this is because people don’t like racing and gambling," said Diehl.
Voting “yes” on the amendment, Humane Society of Tampa Bay CEO Sherry Silk points to dogs getting injured or dying on Florida tracks. Also saying there are hundreds of shelters across the country willing to take them in.
“Some will take 10, some will take 25 depending on their space. To say that these dogs will be euthanized is simply not true. We made it clear to the greyhound folks," said Silk.