By Steve Kozachik | CM WARD 6
On Sunday the 21st, KGUN ran a piece reporting that a trainer out at Tucson Greyhound Park had been suspended and fined after her dog had tested positive for steroids. You may recall that the City of Tucson passed an ordinance I proposed banning the use of those drugs on racing greyhounds because of the harmful effects they have on the animals. According to records from the Arizona Department of Racing, the trainer was suspended for 15 days and was fined $500. That’s about 8 racing days. The maximum she could have received if the ADOR was serious was significantly longer than that, and 5x the fine.
ADOR is not responding to these cases in a meaningful way. Since 2007 the trainer who was suspended has been sanctioned at least 13 times by State regulators in Alabama, Florida and Arizona. Her offenses include
2008 – Tested positive for use of an industrial solvent Dimethyl Sulfoxide
2008 – Tested positive for use of 2 stimulants, including Theophylline
2009 – Fined in Florida for “unspecified drug positive.”
2010 – Fined twice in Florida for “unspecified violations.”
Repeated disciplines in Alabama and Arizona for entering race dogs that were over their set racing weight. Weights are closely monitored to prevent race fixing.
And Florida license history shows that she was investigated for animal abuse in 2001. Throughout the industry it is undeniable that greyhound trainers are allowed to violate rules repeatedly, get a hand slap and simply continue on as though all was well. The trainer KGUN reported on is already back racing her animals out at Tucson Greyhound Park.
On June 17th, another dog collapsed out at TGP and was turned over to a local rescue group. She lasted 2 days after being passed along to her foster home. The vet report shows that her temperature was elevated, and that she had suffered liver damage.
They continue to race the dogs during the summer heat.
Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption (SAGA) tells me that in the past 12 weeks they’ve taken in 28 greyhounds. Their status?
9 – Healthy
8 – broken legs/hocks
3 – broken toe[s]
3 – chronic injury to leg/hock due to previous untreated injury
2 – heart worm positive
1 – heat related illness w/liver damage
1 – severe gastrointestinal illness yet to be diagnosed
1 – leg sprain
The vet bills on the first 13 hounds are over $20,000 and rising. The owners and trainers at TGP do not pay for any of the medical costs they inflict on the animals. That’s up to the non-profit rescue groups like SAGA.
This is ‘sport’ allowed by the State of Arizona. The legislature allows a hardship tax credit to help TGP with their operational expenses. None of those go to helping mend the dogs they injure. Whether you want to or not you subsidize this industry with your hard earned money.
If you’d like to help SAGA, either through financial or foster assistance, you can check them out at this website: www.gofundme.com/NoHoundLeftBehind
If you’d like to see TGP shut down as a racing facility, let the Arizona Department of Racing know that you’re tired of them turning a blind eye to the abuses that go on out there.