It's been a Thursday night fixture for many decades, but it seems the famous Dapto Dogs has had its day.
The Dapto Agricultural & Horticultural Society has announced the Dapto Dogs will cease operating immediately after a breakdown in negotiations with Greyhound Racing NSW.
However, Greyhound Racing NSW is hoping to come to an agreement to ensure racing continues at Dapto.
The society's racing registration expired last Thursday.
The society said Greyhound Racing NSW had presented them with non-negotiable terms that would put their community development plans at risk, as well as its current tenancy commitments.
Dapto Chamber of Commerce president Ian Fitzgibbon said it would "be a shock within the community".
"It's obviously an iconic thing that we've had here forever and ever, and it wouldn't have been a decision taken lightly. There will be ramifications within the community, because of the benefits that flow on when the dogs are on... Benefits for local businesses and the community generally."
Member for Wollongong Paul Scully said his immediate reaction was "one of disappointment".
"This is a decades-old institution, not only of greyhound racing in NSW, but also of the Illawarra," he said.
"I hope that some common sense can prevail, and that Greyhound Racing NSW and the Dapto Agricultural & Horticultural Society might be able to work out a sensible arrangement going forward that would allow the dogs to maintain their traditional Thursday night meets.
"It'll be missed greatly by a lot of people in the greyhound racing community."
Whitlam MP Stephen Jones said, "wherever you go in Australia, and often wherever you go around the world, and you tell them you're from Dapto, the next thing they say is the Dapto Dogs".
"I acknowledge that the industry's changing and things are changing, but I'll be one who says I'm sad it's going."
Shellharbour MP Anna Watson said for 82 years, the Dapto Dogs have been an institution in the region, drawing in regular crowds to Dapto Showground and contributing to the local economy.
"This is a terrible outcome for the Greyhound racing community both here in the Illawarra, and more broadly in NSW," she said.
"The Dapto Dogs is an iconic and intrinsic part of Dapto's identity. The impact of its sudden loss will be far reaching, not only within the greyhound racing industry but also within the local community."
Dapto Agricultural & Horticultural Society chairperson Noel Leslie said they "have a progressive strategic plan and exciting vision for the future of the grounds, which responds directly to what the community has been crying out for".
"Our plans and goals include building both indoor and outdoor recreation, outdoor children's playground, cafes, restaurants and a multi-purpose hall.
"We have a heavy heart that this iconic greyhound track has closed, but the board has an obligation to act in the best interests of the society and the community."
About 15 people are employed casually with Dapto Dogs; the society said they would immediately take steps to support staff.
Dapto Showground Markets owner/operator Terry Gallagher said the markets, which run every Sunday, will go ahead as normal.