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The Status of Dog Sports Unlimited

Fun with Zoning!

Update: 7/23/20

We submitted our proposal to the Planning and Land Development Regulation Commission on July 16th and they approved all our requested variances! Oh, happy Day!!


We can now proceed to ask for the special exception to operate our business from the County Council. That will happen in September. There are still permits that need to be pulled and inspections that need to be passed. I've also been told that I may have to have one or more paved parking spots for ADA compliance. We're working right now to accomplish all of those items. Our hope is that by the end of September we'll be up and running again. And I totally meant that play on words!

That means Saturday night Fast CAT Camps will be back by October!

(At least, that's what we're hoping for.)

I expect the next update will be in September. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

Speaking of September, we'll be operating the Fast CAT events for the West Volusia Kennel Club during their annual DeLand Dog Show. We'll be at the Volusia County Fairgrounds from the 18th through the 20th. Two events a day for three days. Come on out and join us!

For more information about September's Fast CAT events, click here.

Update: 3/16/20

So much has happened since the last update but I'm going to do my best to keep this short. ​We have been allowed to apply for the Special Exception with a tentative approval from the Planning Board. That is a very positive development! All I can say is there are dog lovers working in all walks of life and you never know when you're going to run into one. What a difference it makes when you have someone knowledgeable of AKC sports in the decision process. Crazy dog talk makes perfect sense to someone versed in lure coursing, dock diving, weight pulling, herding, etc. Suddenly the absurd is not so crazy.

So we are moving in the right direction now. Permit issues are being resolved and variances are being addressed. We still have a lot of details to work out but the finish line is in sight. Such a relief!

Of course, life can't be all perfect. We are dealing with a pandemic that is challenging our normal way of life. COVID-19 has been working it's way to the U.S. slowly but steadily ever since it appeared in Wuhan China. The response is becoming more aggressive and many businesses are going to struggle to get through the next few months. It's almost like a hurricane that lasts for months but doesn't destroy our buildings and infrastructure, instead it leaves a wake of sick and dying people. I think I'd rather the hurricane!

St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow. May the luck of the Irish shine down on our nation and help us through this time.

Our meeting with the compliance board was scheduled for Wednesday this week but due ot the pandemic, it has been rescheduled for the middle of April. The goal is to have all the permits taken care of so we only have to go before the County Council for approval of the Special Exception. We are so much looking forward to that day!


Update: 12/10/19

We have good news to report. We met with the Compliance Board in mid-November and we were given until March to continue pursuing the special exception we need for our facility. Mark Watts and Nika Hosseini from Cobb Cole are working diligently to make all this happen and there is no doubt in my mind they will be successful.

Our property was surveyed last week and an electrician came out and inspected all the electrical hook-ups. The Compliance Board had asked for an electrician to certify that everything was safe and up to code and that has been accomplished. Slowly but surely we are pushing the boulder up the hill.

The plan is to get on the agenda for the January Planning Board meeting so we can go before them with our proposal. If not January then it will happen in February. A site plan is being drawn up to include all the events that we will offer and if the Planning Board approves it we then move on to the Zoning Board.


In the meantime, Dog Sports Unlimited will be running two big events at the Silver Sands Bridle Club. Our End of Year Fast CAT is coming up on December 28th and 29th and after that we will be hosting three days of Fast CAT for the OCOD in conjunction with the Agility Trials January 17-19.

It's been a crazy year and so much has happened but I think things are only getting started. Once we have secured the County's approval for what we want to do at Dog Sports Unlimited's facility we can really kick it into high gear. I truly believe 2020 is going to be an incredible year!

Update: 10/15/19


The Silver Sands Bridle Club has agreed to let us hold our two Fast CAT events at their facility!


We will have everything set up and ready to go Sunday morning and will begin checking in dogs at 8:30. The runs will be held concurrently so if you can't make it out first thing in the morning, you can still get your two run in before we break everything down at 4 PM.


Due to the last minute changes to the location, we have decided that the fundraiser that was planned for the West Volusia Humane Society will be postponed to a later date when we can more adequately plan and promote the event.


Thanks for all the kind words of support while we work through our issues with the county. We're humbled by all the great people that have offered their help over the last couple of weeks. You guys are the best!

We're looking forward to the event at the SSBC. Everyone we've dealt with at their facility has been very nice and we can't thank them enough for letting us get on their calendar on such short notice.

Just 19 days until the events. Help us spread the word and we'll see you on November 3rd.


Update: 10/12/19

We are currently working on rescheduling the November 2nd event to November 3rd. We have a venue that may be available all day on that date and it will not be very far from where our place is. I should know by Monday whether that will happen or not.

The West Volusia Kennel Club and Dog Sports Unlimited are determined to make these events happen and we thank you for your patience while we work this out. We want everyone to know that if you've already purchased tickets you can get a refund if you can't make the rescheduled events. Just let us know and we'll send you you're money back.

I will confirm whether we can book the other venue for the 3rd as soon on Monday as I find out. Stay tuned.


It's a Zoning Issue

We have been informed by the county that we are not permitted to operate a business of this nature on the property that we own. We have been given the option of removing the business or applying for rezoning and a special exception. We have retained an attorney and are filing for a special exception for the privilege to host dog sports and other K9 activities in a commercial capacity here at 875 Tater Rd.

This is a very unfortunate turn of events and Maria and I are heartbroken over it.


Our dream is to provide a location where dog owners can bring their dogs out to exercise and have fun. We're not giving up on that dream and we hope to be able to continue moving in that direction once this issue has been resolved. Our aspiration is to get more people involved in AKC activities and promote the wonderful kennel clubs in this area. Most importantly, we want to provide an environment that fosters healthy and happy dogs, which in turn leads to healthier and happier dog owners. 


Sadly, we are looking at a long and costly undertaking to make that dream happen. Our legal counsel has stated that it can take up to 6 months or more for a special exception to be approved. We are both hoping that won't be the case but I'm afraid he'll be right about that. In the meantime, if you would like to know how you can lend your support or you're just looking for more information about the situation, please feel free to contact us at

Thanks to everyone that has supported what we've been doing. It's meant a lot to us having you come out and join us in our Fast CAT Camps. We have faith that we will be able to do it again in the not too distant future.


We will try to keep everyone up to speed as things progress. Send our regrets to all our four legged friends. They're going to have to find something else to do on Saturday nights. 


Mark & Maria Avellino

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