SARASOTA, Fla. — Friday marks the beginning of the last season of greyhound racing at the Sarasota Kennel Club. 

It's 74th season will be its last. 

  • Sarasota Kennel Club kicks off last greyhound racing season
  • Sarasota track ending racing a year ahead of mandate
  • Amendment 13 was approved 69 percent to 31 percent by voters
  • 11 active dog tracks in Florida
  • Yes To Amendment 13 Could Displace Thousands of Dogs

Amendment 13 to end commercial dog racing was approved 69 percent to 31 percent by Florida voters in November. That includes racing at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. 

There are 11 dog tracks in Florida

The Sarasota Kennel Club is choosing to end racing at the conclusion of this season in May. Legally it can continue racing the dogs until the end of 2020. 

Kennel officials said they need time to downsize the dog racing and adapt to a poker and simulcast-only facility. In a statement, club owner Cole Collins expressed the difficulties of discontinuing racing: 

"We were especially discouraged when we found out that there were people who voted to ban greyhound racing in Florida without many knowing the effects of their vote.  

"Thousands of greyhounds will be up for adoption and thousands of employees around the state will be laid off."

The club will be working with Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption to help find homes for the soon-to-be retired race dogs.

The final race day in Sarasota will be May 4, 2019.

Active Florida Tracks:

Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room (Daytona Beach)

Derby Lane (St. Petersburg)

Ebro Greyhound Park (Ebro)

Mardi Gras Gaming (Hallandale)

Melbourne Greyhound Park (Melbourne)

Naples-Ft. Myers Greyhound Track (Bonita Springs)

Orange Park Kennel Club (Orange Park)

Palm Beach Kennel Club (W. Palm Beach)

Pensacola Greyhound Track (Pensacola)

Sanford-Orlando Kennel Club (Longwood)

Sarasota Kennel Club (Sarasota)