TALLAHASSEE, FL. – Race tracks are closing their doors, and greyhounds are getting adopted.
It's been nine months since Florida voters decided to end greyhound racing across the state. Amendment 13 passed by nearly 70% in November 2018, the new constitutional measure requiring tracks to phase out the practice by the end of 2020.
Four racetracks have already ended live racing. The tracks in Sarasota, Pensacola, Melbourne and Hallandale Beach voluntarily called it quits, with a few tracks reporting to be close behind.
The transition away from racing is creating opportunities in other areas. The Sarasota Kennel Club said it will transition into becoming a 340-unit of affordable housing and assisted living facility now that racing is no more, according to Grey2k USA Worldwide.
Meanwhile, of the 13 tracks across Florida only seven are still operational. A few plan to end racing over the coming months, according to nonprofit Grey2k USA Worldwide.
Naples/Ft. Myers Greyhound track confirmed in their state license application it will stop all racing on May 2, 2020, months before the state mandated deadline.
Racetracks choosing different dates to end racing has given rescues and race tracks time to find homes for the retired greyhounds. The staggered closures have assisted in dog placement as the greyhounds leave the racing industry.
Grey2k USA Worldwide reports breeding greatly reduced leading up to the Amendment 13 vote, meaning fewer dogs were introduced to the industry and would need to be rehomed.
The organization says 3,943 dogs raced at Florida tracks in July, a decrease of about a thousand dogs compared to July 2018.
The nonprofit organization said it will assist in rehoming efforts for former race dogs.