ORLANDO, Fla. — It's business as usual for now at the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club, but workers are worried an amendment on the ballot will cost them their jobs.
“This is a nightmare,” said owner A.J. Grant.
According to the general manager here, the racing ban proposed in Amendment 13 could cost about 100 people at the track their jobs. Statewide, that number grows to about 3,000 jobs.
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If passed, the amendment would phase out greyhound racing by the end of 2020.
There's also the question of what happens to thousands of racing dogs.
“It's just overwhelming to think all these dogs could be displaced all at once,” said Grant, who said he isn't convinced kennel owners will have that much time.
“Some of these tracks can cease racing Jan. 1, so immediately there could be 2,000 to 3,000 greyhounds that need a home,” Grant said.
Grant said he is working with a network of rescue groups across the country to make sure the dogs are cared for if the amendment passes, but it's complicated and very expensive.
“There are about 86 dogs in this kennel alone and it costs about $900 a week to feed them,” Grant said.
Grant said the dogs are his priority and for now, all he can do is wait for voters to decide their fate.
Meanwhile, supporters for Amendment 13 tell WFTV Channel 9 that passing the measure will do the opposite.
"Amendment 13 is an opportunity to help thousands of dogs find loving homes. It includes a 26 month phase out period, and adoption groups are already preparing for the end of racing," said a statement from the group Yes on 13. "Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane, and voters can end this cruelty by voting Yes on 13."
Meanwhile, Grant said if the dog-racing industry is declining, it needs to be a gradual process.
“Let it decline on its own, so we can absorb the animals into homes gradually rather than be pushed off a cliff and say we're done,” he said.
According to the track's general manager, the business contributes about $100,000 in tax revenue for the city of Longwood.
Cox Media Group