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"ISOLATED INCIDENTS" AND DOCUMENTED DEATHS OF SOME OF THE HALF MILLION RACING GREYHOUNDS WHO HAVE DIED
IN THE LAST TWO DECADES
"We're talking about young healthy dogs that are being killed.
When you look at them, you see all they want is a little attention and some love."
An Iowa veterinarian People, September 23, 1991
"If there's anybody to be indicted here, it's the industry because this is what they're doing to these animals. The misery begins the day they're born. The misery ends when my client gets a hold of them and puts a bullet in their head."
attorney for contract greyhound killer, Robert Rhodes
National Public Radio, May 31, 2002
DISCOVERY OF 36 ABUSED GREYHOUNDS by the Iowa Department of Agriculture forces license forfeitures of greyhound breeder, Kenneth Sherrets. Upon a routine inspection of Sherret's Independence, Iowa dog farm in September, inspectors found greyhounds in very poor condition. The Dept of AG made several subsequent visits and issued repeated warnings; finally filing a complaint on October 25th. The report stated that the greyhounds were subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment and caused to suffer unnecessary pain due to inadequate food, water shelter, bedding and medical treatment. Sherrets subsequently lost his Dubuque booking and his racing privileges in both Iowa and Wisconsin. Sherrets, a long-time NGA member, allowed the NGA to remove the dogs from his farm. NGA officials refuse to disclose the whereabouts of the neglected greyhounds to the local press.
Source: Iowa Racing Commission Ruling, October 27, 2004; KWWL TV, November 1, 2004; WCF Courier, November 9, 2004
THE FIRST AND LAST RACE FOR DOOMED GREYHOUND PUPPY "Mr. Junior Mint," an 18-month-old puppy, was entered into his first-ever schooling race on July 30th at the Flagler dog track. He fell and was bumped into the rail during a collision with "Our Baby Ruth," another 18-month-old pup. Two of his legs were severed when he was hit by the lure motor; he died from massive blood loss. "Our Baby Ruth," who was also injured, disappeared from the record on August 27th after performing poorly in subsequent schooling races.
Source: Greyhound Protection League complaint filed August 2, 2004; DBPR Report. September 30, 2004
KENNEL COUGH STRIKES AGAIN The virus, once again, started in South Florida and spread throughout the state. It then made its way to Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and to tracks in New England in spite of quarantines. Reporting of race dog deaths is not mandatory. The acknowledged death toll of 22 is contradicted by insider reports which put the number closer to 50. Researchers are attempting to determine why this highly contagious, but relatively benign virus turns deadly in racing dogs. The effects from the stress of racing are being explored.
Source: Multiple media sources June - July 2004; University of Florida Veterinary School
UPDATE - RHODES CASE: CLARENCE PATTERSON, A KEY FIGURE IN GREYHOUND KILLINGS, IN CUSTODY Patterson, who had eluded authorities for nearly two years was located in the Alabama jail system. His discovery greatly improves the prosecution's case against other defendants who have been trying to get the case dismissed after the death of Rhodes and disappearance of Patterson. Patterson, who held a booking at the Pensacola dog track, has been described as the go-between for other Florida trainers who sent dogs to Rhodes to be killed.
Source: Mobile Register, June 30, 2004; July 7, 2004
UPDATE - RHODES CASE: NEW ALABAMA LAW REDUCES THE INHUMANE KILLING OF GREYHOUNDS FROM A FELONY TO A MISDEMEANOR David Whetstone, the Baldwin County District Attorney, who is prosecuting the Rhodes' greyhound-killing case, weighed in on the effect of a new law that passed through the Alabama legislature. Whetstone said his interpretation of the statute, a misdemeanor imposing escalating fines beginning at $500, is that it exempts racing greyhounds from a 3-year-old law that makes the torture of animals a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. "It's dog-specific. There's no doubt that it would exclude the "Gucci Law", or the Alabama animal cruelty law, as it applies to greyhound dogs," he said. "It effectively reduces the greyhound dog to a beast of burden... A junkyard dog has more protection than a greyhound dog under this statute."
Source: Mobile Register, June 26, 2004
BRUTAL LURE DEATH AT DAIRYLAND "WJS Larkana" and "Glo's K Peabody" were involved in a collision around the first turn; "Peabody" suffered a broken leg from the collision. Larkana became disoriented and fell into the lure pit where she suffered electric shock from the live rail and was then hit by the lure motor, severing two of her legs. The Greyhound Protection League filed a complaint with the Wisconsin State Gaming Association based on Dairyland's long standing high injury rate and the track's apparent unwillingness to stop the lure to avoid such catastrophes. Dairyland management stated that they are proud of their safety record.
Source: Associated Press, June 11, 2004; Kenosha News, June 12, 2004; GPL Complaint and injury statistics
POSITIVE DRUG TESTS GO PUBLIC AND TAINT INTEGRITY OF FLORIDA GREYHOUND RACES State records from June 1, 2002, to May 30, 2003, reveal that 44 greyhounds tested positive for trace amounts of cocaine. 37 cocaine positives were recorded between 2001 and 2002 and 38 between 2000 and 2001 during the respective time frame. State regulators neither investigated nor contacted local law enforcement. A request from animal rights groups for an investigation by the state attorney general was denied.
Source: Tampa Tribune, May 3, 2004; Naples Daily News, May 20, 2004
UPDATE - RHODES CASE: TESTIMONY LINKS GREYHOUND KILLING TO FLORIDA DOG TRACKS During an April, 22 Baldwin County hearing related to the Rhodes case, investigators for the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering testified that Robert Rhodes was known from one end of Florida to the other among people in the dog-racing industry. Kennel owners and trainers from as far away as South Florida sent greyhounds to Rhodes's farm to be killed. Dog-men found the service attractive because the $10-per animal cost was about half what a veterinarian would charge for euthanasia. Thursday's testimony was the first time Baldwin County officials have detailed publicly how widespread they believe the practice is in the Sunshine State. District Attorney David Whetstone commented to the Mobile Register: "This case shows what was going on in the greyhound racing industry in Florida. It opens up the eyes to how sinister it was." Florida authorities are waiting for the outcome of the Alabama case before pursuing charges against the Florida defendants for transporting greyhounds over state lines for the purpose of killing them.
Source: Mobile Register, April 23, 2004
RESEARCHERS CONCLUDE THAT THE EIGHT JACKSONVILLE RACE DOGS THAT DIED IN JANUARY SUCCUMBED TO EQUINE INFLUENZA A University of Florida research team has no idea why the virus jumped the species barrier from horses to race dogs. They are investigating links to other disease outbreaks in race dogs.
Source: Associated Press, April 22, 2004
15 MALNOURISHED GREYHOUNDS SEIZED BY MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE The dogs were found penned in a field without adequate food and shelter. The bodies of four dead greyhounds were found under a tarp, along with dead puppies that had been tossed into a plastic tub. The ex-racing dogs had been acquired from local breeders for use as rabbit dogs. The live dogs were taken to a veterinary clinic where they were picked up by a local adoption group. The property owner, Delroy Reed who turned himself in on April 15th, has been charged with 15 counts of animal cruelty.
Source: Greyhound Network News, Spring 2004; Muskogee Phoenix, April 13, 2004
"DOG FIGHT" ERUPTS WHEN NAPLES-FORT MYERS DOG TRACK INVITES CITY COUNCIL TO HOLD 4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS AT TRACK Greyhound advocates eventually won a two month battle against the proposal which was labeled an act of gross negligence and irresponsibility by the Greyhound Protection League.
Source: Naples Daily News, April 10, 2004
UPDATE: VIOLATION OF VETERINARY RULES PUTS NAPLES-FORT MYERS TRACK MANAGER'S LICENSE IN JEOPARDY Acting on a complaint filed by the Greyhound Protection League, the Florida Division of Parimutuel Wagering finally took action against the repeated violations of State rules that require veterinary presence at dog tracks before and during official races. Concerns about veterinary issues at the track first surfaced in 2000 with the death of Tune Me In and came to a head with the November 2003 injuries to Plinko Drive and Solitary Hattie which occurred when no veterinarian was available. The Division filed an administrative complaint in February 2003 against the track's general manager stating that he violated state law on 15 different occasions between June 2002 and October 2003 by not having a veterinarian present for the races.
Source: GPL complaint filed with Pari-Mutuel Division November 1, 2003; Naples Daily News, November 4, 2003 and February 6, 2004
TWO RACING GREYHOUNDS DIE OF HEAT EXHAUSTION IN HAULER Kennel operator Marshall Rae admitted to hauling 40 greyhounds from Oregon to Oklahoma in mid-summer without stopping to check on the dogs. The two greyhounds that lost their lives during the 36 hour ordeal were disposed of in a shallow grave. Rae was suspended from racing for 90 days and ordered to pay $250 in fines by the Oregon Racing Commission.
Source: The Oregonian, February 3, 2004
TUCSON KENNEL OWNER FAILS TO PROVIDE TREATMENT FOR INJURED GREYHOUND Acting on a complaint filed by the track adoption director, the Arizona Department of Racing made an unannounced inspection of the Dunsford Kennel and found a two-year old female with multiple infected wounds up to five inches in length, elevated temperature and painful, swollen rear legs.* The adoption group took the dog and paid for her veterinary care. Dunsford was fined $500 and his license was summarily suspended for 60 days.
Source: Greyhound Network News, Spring 2004; ADOR investigative report December 2003
NOTE: *Contrary to popular belief, track vets intervene only for on-the-scene emergencies on the track. Beyond that, it is up to the kennel operator's discretion to seek off-site private veterinary care and incur any expenses.
UPDATE: WEST VIRGINIA APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS VERDICT ON GREYHOUND DEATHS Kansas greyhound breeders, Michael and Terry Kraft, filed suit after losing 14 dogs to heat exhaustion when an air conditioning unit failed in the make-shift trailer/kennel that housed race dogs boarded at a Girty's Point dog farm. An Ohio County jury had rendered a verdict that the ZEZ Kennel and the Wheeling West Virginia race track were at fault in the death of more than 60 greyhounds that perished and awarded the Krafts nearly $1 million in compensation. The Krafts, who were the only dog owners to file suit have been shunned by others in the industry for taking legal action.
Source: The Intelligencer Wheeling News-Register, September 26, 2003, News 9-Wheeling, October 2, 2003
GREYHOUND DIET COMES UNDER SCRUTINY DURING MAD COW DISEASE SCARE In addition to the flesh of sick animals, raw 4-D meat is likely to contain brain and spinal matter that has been identified as harboring the bovine spongiform organism that causes mad cow disease. According to former track veterinarian, Arthur Strohbehn, food handlers at tracks and farms are at high risk of infection from the noxious organisms contained in the meat during feed preparation.
Source: Greyhound Protection League, December 29, 2003; Strohbehn document February 9, 1990
RACING AT NAPLES-FORT MYERS DOG TRACK TURNS DEADLY A three-year old female, Plinko Drive, hit the rail in the 6th race on November 1st after a collision with another dog. Her front leg was severed and she lay in pain for over an hour before she was euthanized because no vet was present for the day's races. The 7th race yielded another tragedy when Solitary Hattie broke her leg with no immediate veterinary intervention. She was also euthanized upon orders from her owner who told the Naples Daily News that "he wouldn't be upset if no veterinarian was there....the greyhound industry is under unfair scrutiny."
Source: Naples Daily News, November 4, 2003; The News-Press, November 5, 2003; Greyhound Protection League complaint filed November 1, 2003, with the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering
GREYHOUND DIES OF BLOOD LOSS AND ELECTROCUTION DURING RACE AT MOBILE A three-year old greyhound was killed September 26th at the Mobile, Alabama, dog track after she was bumped into the inside rail, electrocuted and then had her leg ripped off. The Greyhound Protection League (GPL) requested a racing commission investigation after spectators witnessed the dog stagger and scream before she finally died. GPL suggested that the track update its facility to prevent further tragedies. The commission denied that any hazards exist and never opened an inquiry into the circumstances of the death. A request by GPL for injury and euthanasia records has been ignored.
Source: Mobile Register, October 25, 2003; Greyhound Protection League files
JURY RETURNS VERDICT AGAINST BLUFFS RUN FOR FAILING TO PROVIDE SAFE RACING CONDITIONS The Iowa verdict sets a precedent that dog tracks can be sued for failures in the animal welfare arena. State Gaming Commission records revealed 60 injuries, including at least 9 deaths, from January through September 2003.
Source: Omaha World-Herald, October 17, 2003
LETA'S PRINCESS HIT BY LURE MOTOR AFTER FALLING INTO ELECTRONIC LURE PIT AT PALM BEACH KENNEL CLUB On July 13th, three-year-old Leta was pinned under the lure rail and her jacket was entangled in the motor when the vet arrived at the scene to euthanize her. Patrons were in tears at the sound of her screams as she unsuccessfully tried to escape the jolts of electricity. GPL determined that 166 collisions had occurred at the Palm Beach track the prior week.
Source: Eye-witness accounts; Greyhound Protection League complaint to Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering; DPMW investigative report; Palm Beach Post, July 18, 2003
NOTE: Investigative report includes comments indicating that the State investigator took an unwarranted interest in the identity and affiliation of citizens who peacefully exercised their constitutional right to protest Leta's death. A video tape of the gathering is in his file.
UPDATE - RHODES CASE: INFAMOUS DOG KILLER DIES Robert Rhodes, who admitted to a 40-year career killing failed racing greyhounds died in his Lillian, Alabama, home in late June 2003. Rhodes' testimony was essential to Baldwin County Prosecutor, David Whetstone's case against four Florida para-mutuel licensees who delivered and/or participated in the killings. Whetstone vows to continue his pursuit of the case by challenging the state's hearsay rules. Clarence Patterson, who fingered others involved, is still missing.
Source: Mobile Register, July 1, 2003
EMACIATED RACING GREYHOUNDS CONFISCATED FROM DEFUNCT ARKANSAS BREEDING FARM Acting on a tip after three greyhounds were found running loose in desperate need of food and water, animal rescuers found mass starvation and neglect on a Paragould, Arkansas, breeding farm. A search of the dilapidated, semi-abandoned property yielded three emaciated, live greyhounds and a Labrador with five pups confined to the house and a dead greyhound in a racing cage. The bodies of 15 more dead greyhounds were discovered in a huge freezer with no electrical hook-up.
Source: Greyhound Protection League, June 2003; Greyhound Network News, Summer 2003
CODE OF SILENCE HINDERS INVESTIGATION INTO DAYTONA GREYHOUND DEATHS The Florida Pari-Mutuel Division was unable to assess responsibility in the death of three racing dogs who died of heat exhaustion in early May because of severe memory lapses on the part of numerous witnesses. Two dogs died after schooling races and a third died on the sprint path. No veterinarian was present during either event.
Source: Daytona Beach News Journal, November 22, 2003; DBPR investigative report, June 13, 2003; GPL files, May 2003
THREE RACING GREYHOUNDS PERISH, OTHERS INJURED WHEN HAULING TRAILER CATCHES ON FIRE
Three greyhounds were dead at the scene when hot pieces of a flat tire from the truck pulling a 30-foot dog trailer flew into their cages. "These dogs died a horrible death," said Greyhound Protection League President, Susan Netboy. "Greyhound hauling vehicles are notoriously dangerous. Many are old dilapidated trailers that are virtual death traps on wheels, but old or new, the greyhounds don't have a chance when something goes wrong."
Source: Highway Patrol Incident Report, Ft. Myers District, April 12, 2003; Associated Press, April 13, 2003
2003 KENNEL COUGH OUTBREAK CUTS A DEVASTATING PATH FROM STATE TO STATE An epidemic of kennel cough that started at Florida dog tracks and moved into New England and as far West as Arkansas wrecked havoc at dog tracks from March through July. Voluntary quarantines which were either violated or imposed too late did little to stave off spread of the disease. In spite of the obvious risks to the health of their race dogs, few tracks were willing to sustain an economic loss by shutting down racing for the length of time experts recommended for full recovery and containment. Necropsies conducted on two Derby Lane greyhounds indicate that they died of complications which led to toxic shock syndrome that killed a large numbers of greyhounds in a 1999 epidemic.
Source: Multiple media reports; Greyhound Protection League complaint filed with the Florida DPMW, Spring 2003
GREYHOUND RACING INJURIES ON THE RISE AT DAIRYLAND DOG TRACK Wisconsin state records obtained by the Greyhound Protection League reveal an alarming 30% increase in track related injuries, up from 318 in 2001 to 412 in 2002. The League is pressing state regulators to remedy the Dairyland problem in an effort to save lives and alleviate unnecessary suffering to Wisconsin greyhounds.
Source: The Journal Sentinel, March 14, 2003; Wisconsin State Gaming Records
DISTEMPER IN FLORIDA RACING GREYHOUNDS A greyhound breeder reported that a South Florida race dog transmitted the deadly distemper virus to his Kansas farm in October 2002. In April 2003, Dr. Peter Fernandes stated that he had recently seen several fatal cases of what he believed was distemper among greyhounds at Florida Kennels, the South Florida compound that houses the Hollywood and Flagler race dogs. During January and February 2003, six greyhounds at the Sarasota dog track died from the distemper virus.
Source: NGA website December 28, 2002; Miami Herald, April 6, 2003; Florida DBPR report, March 13, 2003
DISTEMPER IDENTIFIED IN RACE DOGS AT MASSACHUSETTS RACING COMPOUNDS Two Raynham racing dogs died of distemper in late December. Two kennels at the Wonderland track compound were infected with distemper in late December. Officials did not report how many greyhounds succumbed to the disease at the Lynn compound. The sickness was not reported to State officials until a month later in response to a GPL complaint.
Source: March 2003 Department of Agriculture response to letter of inquiry from the Greyhound Protection League filed mid-January
UPDATE - SHONKA CASE: JUDGE RULES ON ILLEGAL SALE OF GREYHOUNDS TO RESEARCH LAB Former Wisconsin kennel owner, Daniel Shonka, was ordered to pay $110,000 in fines and restitution for sending hundreds of retired racing dogs to their deaths at Guidant Corporation, a St. Paul, Minnesota, research laboratory.
Source: Wisconsin State Journal, February 8, 2003
HINSDALE GREYHOUND KILLINGS EXPOSED Photographs of dead race dogs in a front loader sparked an inquiry into practices at New Hampshire's Hinsdale Greyhound Park. Fox News ran an investigative expose into track practices and the effectiveness of the track adoption program. The photos had been anonymously sent to GPL by an employee.
Source: Boston Affiliate Fox Television News, February, 3, 2003; Greyhound Protection League investigative files
DISTEMPER VIRUS KILLS 18 ARIZONA RACING GREYHOUNDS Eighteen race dogs at the Apache Junction kennel compound were overwhelmed by the deadly distemper virus in January 2003. The dogs had recently been transported from an Oregon dog farm operated by Ron Floyd. Floyd retains his privileges to operate a greyhound farm in spite of repeated violations of Oregon racing regulations.
Source: The Arizona Republic, January 10 and 14, 2003; The Oregonian, January 12, 2003; Arizona Department of Racing
VETERINARIAN LABELS 4-D MEAT A SERIOUS HEALTH HAZARD Dr. Arthur Strohbehn, a former veterinarian at the Bluffs Run dog track, recently reiterated his concern that raw meat from dead, diseased, downed and dying animals does not meet the legal requirement that race dogs be provided a wholesome diet. As a track veterinarian in the late 1980's, Dr. Strohbehn's responsibilities included making recommendations to the Iowa State Racing Commission that would assure compliance with State and Federal animal welfare laws and public health concerns. In a 1990 letter of complaint, Dr. Strohbehn refers to 4-D meat as a "pathogenic smorgasbord" which constitutes a health hazard to both employees and canines. The seven-page document also details a variety of violations related to steroid use, cage size and sanitation. His repeated attempts to work within the system were met with staunch resistance. The feeding of raw 4-D meat has been linked by other researchers to a variety of illnesses in racing greyhounds. However, the concerns of Dr. Strohbehn and others have fallen on deaf ears; raw 4-D meat continues to be the standard industry feed provided to racing greyhounds nation-wide.
Source: The Daily Nonpareil, January 2, 2003; Strohbehn document, February 9, 1990
DISTEMPER OUTBREAK HITS KANSAS GREYHOUNDS IN OCTOBER; DEATH TOLL EXCEEDS 100 A Kansas greyhound breeder lost as many as 100 pups in October 2002 from a distemper outbreak on his Abilene dog farm. The owner of the farm later reported that the infection was brought to Kansas by an adult greyhound from the Hollywood/Flagler kennel compound in South Florida. The infected dog exposed numerous other greyhounds who were subsequently hauled out to five different race tracks. The highly contagious, preventable disease spread to the Wichita dog track where adult race dogs also came down with the fatal illness. Kansas officials imposed a quarantine and claimed that the outbreak had been contained and would not migrate beyond Kansas borders.
Source: Wichita Eagle, December 28, 2002 / Abilene Reflector Chronicle, December 20, 2002; NGA website, December 24, 2002
CHARGES THAT NO VETERINARIAN WAS AVAILABLE AT COLLINS & COLLINS RACING AT SOKC INVESTIGATED BY STATE Florida Pari-Mutuel Division investigators confirmed that numerous live racing performances were held at the facility when no veterinarian was present from October through December 2002. During this time three greyhounds were taken to an outside vet clinic. Two were euthanized at the request of the trainer, one for lameness, one for a broken leg. A third dog's leg was splinted. The records reveal that three additional dogs were euthanized at the request of their trainers. Two had fractured hocks; one was lame. Veterinary presence is required from weigh-in to the end of the race card to ensure that the wagering public is not betting on lame dogs and to render emergency care to injured greyhounds.
Source: DBPR report, November 2002; Greyhound Protection League complaint to DBPR
NOTE: No license could be found by investigators for one of the vets the track claims to have employed.
In response to a request contained in the GPL complaint for euthanasia records, the following statement was entered into the file: "There is no practical way to determine how many animals were killed by the various kennel owners."
Other serious violations referenced in the report: Lock-out room (ginny pit) unlocked and unattended; blankets prematurely removed from race dogs, no clerk of scales for a three week period (clerk of scales weighs the dogs and confirms ear tattoo numbers to ensure that the dog listed in the program is the dog entered in the race); employee licensing violations. These violations occurred repeatedly; numerous requests by the State that the track come into compliance were ignored.
UPDATE - RHODES CASE: GRAND JURY HANDS DOWN INDICTMENTS ON FOUR ALLEGED CO-CONSPIRATORS IN KILLING OF FLORIDA RACE DOGS - ARRESTS FOLLOW A Baldwin County Grand Jury determined that four individuals associated with Florida dog tracks were complicit in the killing of Florida racing greyhounds on the Rhodes' property in Lillian, Alabama. Clarence Patterson, Ursula O'Donnell, Paul Discolo Jr. and John W. Smith were named in the two-count indictments alleging animal cruelty and conspiracy. O'Donnell was arrested at Melbourne Greyhound Park; Paul Discolo Jr. was arrested at Ebro Greyhound Park; John W. Smith was arrested in Marathon. All are licensed by the Florida Division of Para-Mutuel Wagering. The county grand jury claims Discolo also shot a greyhound in agreement with Rhodes, O'Donnell, Smith and others. Bonds were set at $7,500. Baldwin County sheriff's chief investigator, Lt. Huey Mack Jr. said: "We believe it was an organized effort. These people all knew each other and some of the dogs came from as far south as Tampa." The fourth defendant, Clarence Patterson of Pensacola, could not be located.
Source: Circuit Court documents issued September 19, 2002; Associated Press; Mobile Register, November 8, 2002
LIVE-LURE TRAINING UNCOVERED ON ARIZONA TRAINING FARM Acting on a tip, the Arizona Department of Racing launched an investigation of a major Arizona breeder which yielded evidence that he was using live rabbits to train greyhounds. 180 of the 200 rabbits confiscated from the farm had to be euthanized.
Source: Arizona Republic, October 16, 2002
THOUSANDS OF GREYHOUNDS KILLED AND BURIED ON THE PROPERTY OF ROBERT RHODES IN LILLIAN, ALABAMA. RHODES, A RACING INDUSTRY VETERAN, WAS RECENTLY EMPLOYED AS A GUARD AT THE PENSACOLA, FLORIDA DOG TRACK. Rhodes freely admitted that he shot the greyhounds for $10 a head as a favor to Florida breeders and trainers. He first took up his trade for a South Dakota dog track 40 years ago and has been providing his "kill-for-hire" services to the dog racing industry ever since. Baldwin County District Attorney, David Whetstone, likened the conditions of the property and the mass grave to a concentration camp for dogs. A veterinarian who autopsied four of the recently killed greyhounds determined that most were shot through the neck, mouth and elsewhere, indicating they suffered before dying.
Source: Pensacola News-Journal, Brett Norman / CNN.Com/ Associated Press / Mobile Register: Brendan Kirby, May 22, 2002
OREGON GREYHOUND TRAINER WHOSE TRACK LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED after six dogs he was transporting in a RENTED BOX-truck died has now had his farm license suspended. When he reapplied for a current racing license and forgot to enclose the application fee, inspectors (at taxpayer expense) visited his farm to collect the fee and discovered a dead rabbit in the driveway of his property. Inspectors suspended his license to run his greyhound farm after the trainer refused to allow inspectors to search certain areas of the property. The Oregon Racing Commission is reviewing the application to reinstate his training and farming licenses.
Source: The Oregonian, May 2002
A COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA DOG TRAINER WAS FINED by the Iowa State Racing Commission after an investigation into cruelty charges, but WAS allowed to return to work despite witness testimony that the trainer repeatedly whipped and punched a dog in his care. The trainer had his state license revoked only after further investigation revealed that he had falsified his application by failing to disclose a felony theft conviction from another state. The Iowa Racing Commission allows convicted felons to re-apply for and obtain a license to race dogs in their state as early as five years after their felony conviction date.
Source: Des Moines Register, May 2002
DEAD GREYHOUNDS BURIED ON FLORIDA KENNELS PROPERTY IN HIALEAH Nearly a year after burying one greyhound found dead in its crate and another 15 month-old pup that died of heat exhaustion during a haul out of Oklahoma, a kennel worker came forward and reported to the Pari-Mutuel Division that he had buried the dogs under instructions from his boss. In June 2002, the remains of the two greyhounds were dug up by state investigators. Aside from the forensic evidence, other accusations made by this individual remain unconfirmed due to denials and severe memory lapses on the part of others in the compound - with the exception of euthanasia/disposal receipts dated January 23, 2002, April 19, 2002, and May 3, 2002, for three other greyhounds from the same kennel.
Source: DBPR report, June 2002
UPDATE - RITT/STEINMANN CASE: JURY FINDS TRAINERS GUILTY ON 70 COUNTS EACH FOR ABUSING SEMINOLE GREYHOUND PARK RACE DOGS On August 24, 2001, in a 2-day jury trial held in the Seminole County Court House, Frank Ritt and Bruno Steinmann were found guilty on 70 counts each for abandonment of animals - a misdemeanor violation of Florida state animal cruelty statutes. Defendants were sentenced to a 7-month jail term. Under court order they were ordered to pay $7,000 each (a total of $14,000) to Greyhound Pets of America, the organization that, contrary to documented racing records, made media claims that they had adopted out all of the abused and neglected greyhounds (70 dogs minus the one that died) from the Ritt/Steinmann kennel.
Source: Seminole County Court Records, August 2001; State Attorney General's office, Press Release, August 27, 2001; Florida Today, September 23, 2001; Orlando Sentinel, August 2001; GPL investigative files
NOTE: Ritt and Steinmann continued to hold valid licenses and work at Florida dog tracks for two years after the discovery of the abused Seminole greyhounds. Steinmann's license was revoked 10/9/01 for falsifications. Ritt voluntarily relinquished his license 9/27/01 after his second offense for using performance-enhancing drugs on a dog.
AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATES DOG KILLING AND LIVE-LURE TRAINING ON GEORGIA GREYHOUND FARM Based on a complaint, investigators visited a farm in Mauk, Georgia on August 15, 2001. When they examined the back of the property they found a dozen mounds of dirt and the skeletal remains of a greyhound. Farm owner, Sherry Grimmard, said that she buries dogs that have died but denied allegations that she was shooting greyhounds. Grimmard admitted to using jack rabbits to train the greyhounds and showed investigators the jack-pen. Grimmard was told that the greyhound cages were too small. Investigators suggested, but did not require, that they be replaced. For the follow-up visit by the AG department on August 20th, Grimmard was accompanied by her attorney who is also a greyhound breeder and by NGA inspector, Craig Randle. Suggestions were made during the inspection that the jack-pen include an escape hole for the jack rabbits.
Source: Georgia Department of Agriculture Animal Protection Inspection Report, August 15th and 20th, 2001
NOTE: As of 2003, Grimmard is still a member, in good standing, of the National Greyhound Association.
DOG HAULING ACCIDENT LEAVES ONE DOG DEAD, ONE MISSING, SEVERAL INJURED A greyhound hauling rig that originated out of the Midwest with 21 greyhounds on board crashed on I-64 near Nitro, West Virginia. The muzzled, missing greyhound has never been found.
Source: Greyhound Network News, Summer 2001
LURE DEATH AT PLAINFIELD GREYHOUND PARK An unnamed greyhound suffered the effects of 480 volts of electricity after falling into the rail-pit that runs along the inside of the track.
Source: Greyhound Protection League files, Spring 2001; Division of Special Revenue Report, April 5, 2001
SEVENTEEN GREYHOUNDS ESCAPE FROM HINSDALE, NEW HAMPSHIRE RACETRACK - TWO KILLED BY ON-COMING TRAFFIC The tragedy occurred when both the turn-out pen gate and the front gate were left open during a February snow storm.
Source: Greyhound Network News, Spring 2001
GREYHOUND LOOSES LEG, SUFFERS LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES IN TRAINING ACCIDENT Zeke, a two-year-old brindle male, was seriously injured in a training accident at a Tucson kennel on March 18. He reportedly caught the lure and was thrown over the rail. Zeke suffered a severed artery, broken upper jaw, shattered leg and multiple lacerations. The intervention of a rescue group saved his life.
Source: Greyhound Network News, Spring 2001
LURE MALFUNCTION CAUSES GREYHOUND DEATH AT NAPLES-FORT MYERS DOG TRACK An eight-dog pile-up occurred during the second race at the Naples-Fort Myers dog track on February 10th when the mechanical lure suddenly stopped running. An unidentified dog suffered a severe break to his leg and was euthanized.
Source: Greyhound Network News, Spring 2001
HEAT STROKE KILLS OVER SIXTY RACING GREYHOUNDS IN WEST VIRGINIA KENNEL after the air-conditioning system allegedly malfunctioned. The dogs were housed in a trailer that had been converted into a kennel. According to the county dog warden, Donna DeJaro, the kennel owner could have cooled the dogs off if only he had turned on a fan and opened the windows.
Source: Greyhound Network News, Fall 2000
THE ALARMING NUMBER OF DEATHS AND INJURIES AT BLUFFS RUN DOG TRACK was exposed in a front- page article of the Des Moines Register. State records reveal that 112 greyhounds were injured in just the first nine months of the 2000 racing season. 18 of the dogs sustained life-ending racing injuries.
Source: Des Moines Register, November 3, 2000
TRAINER BURIES THREE DEAD GREYHOUNDS AT THE PALM BEACH RACETRACK after first cutting off their ears to avoid identification. The dogs had allegedly died of dehydration after being left outside in 90 degree heat. A fourth dog later died. The trainer, Mitch Haber, said he panicked and wanted to avoid detection. The owner of three of the dead dogs said: "We all make mistakes... I'll send him some more of my dogs as soon as I get some ready."
Source: Greyhound Network News, Fall 2000; Palm Beach Post
FAILED AIR CONDITIONER CAUSES DEATH OF 7 or more RACE DOGS AT fLORIDA kENNELS IN hIALEAH When kennel workers arrived at the O'Donnell Kennel on September 5, 2000, they discovered 7 dead greyhounds and several others that were near death due to the failure of the alarm system, the A/C unit and the back-up A/C unit. The alarm was set at 115 degrees F. The total death toll was not recorded in the report acquired by the Greyhound Protection League. Florida regulations do not require that greyhound deaths be reported to the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. The incident was referenced in the context of a separate investigation related to the burying of dead greyhound at the kennel compound that houses dogs for the Flagler and Hollywood dog tracks.
Source: DBPR report, June 2002
FRANK rITT'S WINNING GREYHOUND TESTS POSITIVE FOR mETHAMPHETAMINE AT sEMINOLE DOG TRACK Frank Ritt,* head trainer and kennel operator for the Frank Ritt Kennel, entered "PA's Hercules" in the 4th race on July 26, 2000. A urine sample was taken and submitted to the University of Florida when the dog finished in first place on a grade A win. Florida regulators opened an investigation when they were notified on August 8th that the dog tested positive for Methamphetamine. Ritt told investigators that another trainer at Seminole had information on persons using and dealing MDMA (Methamphetamine) at Seminole Greyhound Park. When that trainer was contacted at the track compound, she was found to be intoxicated on alcohol. She said she knew of two lead-outs who used or sold MDMA, but refused to give the names to the State investigator.
Source: DBPR investigative report, August 2000
NOTE: *Frank Ritt (aka, Gary Ritter) is the same individual who ten months earlier had his entire kennel of 70 greyhounds confiscated because the dogs were suffering from extreme neglect while under his care at the Seminole compound. After the "incident," Seminole management gave Ritt a booking in his name and a head-trainer position.
Greyhound Trampled to Death at Massachusetts DOG Track "Midget," a small female greyhound was trampled and died instantly at Raynham Greyhound Park in late June. The young dog was in her maiden (introductory) race, when she got caught between several other dogs. Injury and death are two perils that often face racing greyhounds. Small dogs like "Midget" are frequently placed in races with much larger dogs of the same grade. Most track deaths go unreported by the media.
Source: Sunday Enterprise, Jason Crosby, July 2, 2000
Greyhound Electrocuted on Track hot-Rail in Alabama Randad, dog No. 3 in the 14th race on June 21 at the Birmingham dog track, was electrocuted when he climbed onto the lure rail that provides a function similar to a subway's hot rail. The dog was electrocuted by 230 volts running at 30 amps and shrieked for several seconds before he was struck by the mechanical lure that had continued around the track, according to witnesses.
Source: Birmingham News, Benjamin Niolet, June 29, 2000
RD's RATTLER DIES OF BROKEN NECK AT TUCSON GREYHOUND PARK Injury reports obtained by Greyhound Network News covering a 10-week period between March and May 2000 revealed the following: one death from a broken neck, one death from unknown causes. 18 broken bones, 11 lacerations and/or muscle injuries.
Source: Greyhound Network News, Fall 2000
NINE INJURED AND SEVERELY EMACIATED GREYHOUNDS USED FOR BREEDING PURPOSES WERE FOUND HOUSED IN AN UNHEATED KENNEL NEAR RAYNHAM-TAUNTON GREYHOUND PARK. The owner of the dogs, a former assistant greyhound trainer at the Massachusettes dog track admitted to humane officers that 'he did not feed them all the time.' Investigating officer Christopher Charbonneau said, "It's one of the most serious cases of neglect I've seen on my twelve years on the job."
Source: Greyhound Network News, Spring 2000
A STATE-LICENSED WISCONSIN KENNEL OPERATOR, DAN SHONKA SOLD MORE THAN 850 RACING GREYHOUNDS TO A CARDIAC RESEARCH LABORATORY without the permission of the dogs' owners. The scandal, which was exposed through an investigation initiated by the Greyhound Protection League, has brought great embarrassment to state racing officials who have long marketed Wisconsin tracks as no-kill, by-the-book facilities. The kennel operator, who held a USDA Class B dealers license to sell animals to research facilities, used his Iowa based adoption program as a front to acquire the dogs. Litigation pursued by the Greyhound Protection League resulted in the release of the 100 live greyhounds who were subsequently adopted into permanent homes.
Source: Wisconsin State Journal, Andy Hall and Phil Brinkman, May 14, 2000; Greyhound Protection League investigative files
A TEXAS GREYHOUND FARM WAS INSPECTED BY A LOCAL SHERIFF ON A CRUELTY TO ANIMALS CHARGE. One greyhound with an untreated broken leg and sores all over its body was taken by a rescue group for medical attention and adoption. An adoption rep and deputies from the local sheriff's office found muzzled caged dogs in questionable condition on the property, as well as live rabbits and a feces dump pile which contained numerous dog skeletons, decaying dog bodies and four fresh dead bodies. Located close by was a tree with a large chain attached, a blood pool and a large pipe with dried blood on it. Various Schedule III drugs were also confiscated from the property.
Source: Williamson County Sheriff's Department Official Incident Report (35 pages), March 14, 2000
RACER, "TUNE ME IN" BLED TO DEATH WITH FATAL INJURIES AFTER BEING HIT BY THE MECHANICAL LURE at the Naples-Ft. Myers track during an evening race on February 23, 2000. Eyewitnesses told greyhound advocates that Tune Me In appeared to be in great pain and distress as evidenced by her screams and cries which went on for some time before track personnel responded. By the time euthanasia was performed, the dog, who was in agony for over 30 minutes, was almost dead. An investigation by the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering determined that no violation of any rules or statutes had taken place. GPL Florida representatives have formally questioned the gross omissions and trivialization of the horrendous incident by state racing officials, including failure to interview any of the eyewitnesses and failure to review the accident on track videotape.
Source: Naples Daily News, March 16, 2000; Greyhound Protection League Research Files
ABANDONED GREYHOUND AND HER FIVE PUPPIES WERE DISCOVERED in Saugus, Massachusetts.
Source: Daily Evening Item, November 10, 1999
A TRUCK HAULING GREYHOUNDS OVERTURNED WHEN THE 19-YEAR OLD-DRIVER FELL ASLEEP after driving virtually non-stop from New Hampshire to Georgia. No greyhounds were injured. The dogs were from the more than 500 greyhounds left behind by owners at the Lakes Region Track in New Hampshire every year at the end of the live racing season.
Source: WAGA-TV Atlanta, November 1, 1999, Gwinnett County Police Report, November 3, 1999
UPDATE - RITT/STEINMANN CASE: ABUSED GREYHOUNDS LIVE TO RACE ANOTHER DAY - Greyhound Protection League labels "rescue" A colossal hoax The Greyhound Protection League has collected evidence that the majority of abused and neglected greyhounds confiscated in the Ritt/Steinmann abuse case at Seminole dog track were, in fact, not adopted out as pets. Within two weeks of their transfer to the Melbourne Adoption Kennel, 44 of the abused greyhounds were schooled in at the Melbourne track. 37 of those continued racing at various Florida tracks including Seminole. Others disappeared from the record, but were not on the pet list. The ultimate fate of most of the dogs is unknown. It appears that the real reason for moving the dogs from Seminole to Melbourne was to "get more race" out of them. The data contained in the race records is a direct contradiction to statements made in the media by the adoption group and industry officials involved with the case: "None of the greyhounds ever went back to full-time racing status. Instead eager families have adopted every dog."
Source: Florida Today; Court records; DBPR report November 1999; GPL investigative files; Press Release, AG's Office
NOTE: An adoption group was later awarded $14,000 ($200 per dog) by the court. The Attorney General's Office was led to believe that all the dogs were adopted and that the dead dog died of old age. (All of the dogs were under five.)
70 ABUSED AND NEGLECTED RACING GREYHOUNDS ABANDONED BY TRAINERS AT SEMINOLE GREYHOUND PARK On September 9, 1999, trainer Bruno Steinmann left the Seminole facility to work at the Pensacola dog track, leaving another trainer, Frank Ritt (aka, Gary Ritter who later also left town) and a helper in charge of the kennel. More than three weeks later, after complaints about conditions in the turn-out pens, track management entered the kennel and found inadequate food and supplies for the dogs. Ritt returned October 6th giving assurances that he would care for the dogs. On October 8th, the kennel helper was arrested for intoxication while he was driving the kennel truck. Truck was towed into compound; driver was put in jail. Neglected greyhounds were left unattended. In subsequent days the situation continued to deteriorate with Ritt in charge. Another week passed. On October 12th, track management entered the kennel and found the kennel and the dogs in deplorable condition: severe weight loss, dehydration, anemia due to severe flea and tick infestations; open, oozing bedsores as big as a silver dollar and untreated wounds. Two dogs with life-threatening injuries were transported to a local veterinarian. Rob Christmas, General Manager for both the Seminole and Melbourne dog tracks, had remaining 68 greyhounds transferred to the Melbourne Greyhound Park Adoption Kennel. One greyhound died. To date, no action has been taken by the Pari-Mutuel Division. Ritt and Steinmann continue to work in the Florida Pari-Mutuel business caring for racing greyhounds despite the incontrovertIble evidence documented by the state investigator and stated violations of pari-mutuel rules.
Source: DBPR investigative report, November 1999
SIX GREYHOUNDS DIED AFTER BEING TRANSPORTED FROM OREGON TO FLORIDA IN 95 DEGREE HEAT IN AN OLD ALUMINUM DOG TRAILER TOWED BY A RENTAL TRUCK WHICH ALSO CONTAINED GREYHOUNDS, a 3,000 mile journey. Rental truck companies forbid the transport of live animals in their rental vehicles, however both the Animal Control Division of Oregon and the Oregon Racing Commission determined it was suitable transport for the dogs. Only after the dogs suffered and died did the Oregon Racing Commission sanction the kennel owner/trainer.
Source: Greyhound Protection League Investigative Files September, 1999; Animal Control Report, October 13, 1999, Fox 35 News
TUCSON KENNEL OPERATOR HAS 17 HEALTHY, YOUNG RACING GREYHOUNDS KILLED AT PIMA COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL because "adoption groups don't take the dogs off his hands fast enough, and he is stuck feeding them for weeks when they are not bringing in any money."
Source: Greyhound Network News, Fall 1999; Arizona Daily Star, September 1999
MULTIPLE GREYHOUND DEATHS OCCURRED AT AN UNLICENSED KENNEL in Marana, Arizona. Within a period of a few months three stud dogs died from unidentified causes, as well as five puppies during birth when their "extremely thin" mother apparently suffered a stroke while whelping. Arizona Department of Racing cited the kennel for underweight dogs, whelping trailer dirty and full of flies, insufficient shade, excess weed and debris, no lighting and no vaccination records.
Source: Arizona Department of Racing Investigation Report, August 4, 1999
EIGHT GREYHOUNDS DIED IN THE FOURTH FIRE IN 13 YEARS AT WONDERLAND'S KENNEL COMPOUND in Lynn, Massachusetts. This brings the death toll due to fire at the compound to more than 120. Firefighters were delayed in their efforts due to the tightly screwed caps on the private hydrant on the property. Despite public outrage after a fire at the same compound in 1992 resulting in the death of 87 greyhounds, no sprinklers were ever installed.
Source: Boston Herald, June 20, 1999; The Boston Globe, June 20, 1999; Daily Evening Item, June 21, 1999
TWO GREYHOUNDS DIED FROM THE HEAT during a cross-country rescue haul. The drivers were using a makeshift aluminum trailer to transport dogs from Florida to a Philadelphia adoption program when they got lost and encountered gridlock traffic near Washington, D.C. in a 97 degree heat wave.
Source: The (Howard County) Sun / Nancy Youssef, June 9, 1999; Maryland State Police News Release, June 8, 1999
THIRTEEN MALNOURISHED AND ABUSED GREYHOUNDS WERE RESCUED from a backyard in Ft. Worth, Texas. Two dead greyhound puppies were also found on the scene and three of the rescued greyhounds died shortly after being rescued. A greyhound rescue group representative called them "walking skeletons with fur."
Source: Ft. Worth Star Telegram, June 6, 1999; WFAA News Channel 8, Angela Davis, June 7, 1999
595 RACING GREYHOUNDS WERE DONATED TO IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY between February 1994 and April 1999. 502 of the dogs were donated by members of the National Greyhound Association.
Source: Iowa State University Canine Acquisition Records
THOUSANDS OF GREYHOUNDS BECAME SICK, RESULTING IN 24 DEATHS in 1999. A nation-wide quarantine of greyhound tracks was enacted. By mid-February, more than 5,000 racing greyhounds had contracted kennel cough, a fairly common disease in racing kennels that is easily preventable by an inexpensive, readily available vaccine. A condition later identified as Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome was the cause of death of at least 24 greyhounds in Florida, Kansas, New Hampshire and Wisconsin. Many of the afflicted dogs appeared relatively healthy only hours before death. Symptoms of the virus were extremely high temperatures and hemorrhaging nasally, rectally and from the urinary tract. A GPL press release points out that the stress of racing the dogs when they are ill makes this otherwise benign disease a killer.
Source: The St. Petersburg Times, The Tampa Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel, Multiple news reports January 9, 1999 - August 4, 1999
111 GREYHOUNDS WERE DONATED TO KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY FOR RESEARCH between January 1996 and May 1998. 52 adults and 57 puppies were euthanized and two adults were adopted out. In ten instances, females were donated with their nursing puppies. A majority of the dogs were donated by members of the National Greyhound Association ("NGA"). Kansas is home to the NGA and the Greyhound Hall of Fame.
Source: Kansas State University Canine Acquisition Records
200 ABANDONED GREYHOUNDS WERE RESCUED FROM GREENETRACK in Alabama when the management abruptly ended the live racing season. The rescue, estimated to cost approximately $30,000, was accomplished through the cooperation and financial assistance of a number of animal welfare and adoption organizations and the track management. There was no financial support from the National Greyhound Association, or the industry organization formed to promote greyhound adoption and welfare, The American Greyhound Council.
Source: Indianapolis Star / John Mason, Marcella Fleming, December 12, 1998; PR Newswire, December 11, 1998
DERBY LANE TRAINER BUSTED AFTER WINNING GREYHOUND TESTS POSITIVE FOR MORPHINE The Florida Pari-Mutuel Division opened an investigation at the St. Petersburg Kennel Club after a urine sample submitted for a June 17th winner, "Feel The Buzz," tested positive for morphine. A consent order settled the case with a 45-day suspension and a $350 fine levied against the trainer.
Source: Florida DBPR report, September 1998
FOUR GREYHOUNDS WERE HIT BY A TRUCK AND KILLED WHEN they escaped from their kennel in Palm Beach, Florida. Theresa Hume, spokesperson for the Palm Beach Kennel Club said "the safe barriers did not work today."
Source: WPTV Channel 5 News Transcript, October 7, 1998
254 RACING DOGS FROM ALABAMA WERE DONATED FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH BY KENNEL PERSONNEL BETWEEN JANUARY 1996 AND MARCH 1998, many without the consent of their legal owners. Of the 254 greyhounds donated, seven were released, 20 remained at the school and the rest were euthanized. Larry Swango, DVM, Executive Director of Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Resources Program said it appeared that the school had been "duped" by kennel personnel looking for a way to dispose of dogs.
Source: The Birmingham News / Michael Sznajderman, July 29, 1998; Montgomery Advertiser / Alvin Benn, July 30, 1998
MORE THAN 2,600 GREYHOUNDS WERE DONATED FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH TO COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY BY COLORADO BREEDERS AND TRAINERS FROM JANUARY 1995-MARCH 1998, according to public records obtained by Greyhound Network News. Approximately one third of the dogs were used in terminal teaching labs where they were killed after use; the remainder were "excess" and were euthanized within 24 hours of arrival at the facility. Approximately 80% of the donated greyhounds were three years old or younger.
Source: Rocky Mountain News / Dan Luzadder, June 7, 1998
35 GREYHOUNDS, INCLUDING 25 PUPPIES, WERE CONFISCATED FROM A DILAPIDATED BREEDING FARM IN WEST VIRGINIA According to Priscilla Oelschlanger, Director of Marshall County Animal Control, the dogs were found covered with fleas and infested with parasites; seventeen of the dogs had to be euthanized. The dogs were being fed roadkill by the owner, who no longer had money to care for the animals. "They [breeders] get in over their heads and things like this happen, and as long as people go to the tracks, it's going to continue," she commented. The surviving dogs were sent to an adoption group in Michigan.
Source: Detroit Free Press, 1998; shelter report, 1998
FOUR GREYHOUNDS DIED AND ANOTHER 48 WERE RESCUED May 29, 1998, after a fire broke out at the kennel compound for the Palm Beach Kennel Club in Palm Beach, Florida. Welders were repairing the air-conditioning system when a spark ignited a duct filled with dust and dog hair. One dog was dead at the scene; three others were taken to vet clinic where they later died. Approximately 1,000 dogs are housed at the facility.
Source: Sun Sentinel, Larry Barsezewski, Sarah Lundy, May 29, 1998; The Palm Beach Post / Tim Pallesen, May 30, 1998
A TWO YEAR OLD GREYHOUND OWNED BY A FORMER KENNEL EMPLOYEE WORKING AT TUCSON GREYHOUND PARK DIED OF NEGLECT IN JANUARY, AFTER IT WAS ABANDONED IN A TRAILER PARK. An animal control officer responding to a call discovered the male greyhound lying on the ground in extremely emaciated condition. The dog had died recently. The owner, Stephanie Seitsinger, had apparently left the dog outside her mother's trailer and moved away. Seitsinger and her boyfriend, both licensed to work as cool-outs at the Tucson track, were later found responsible for the neglect and ultimate death of the dog.
Source: Greyhound Network News, Spring 1998
HOLLYWOOD RACE-FIXING SCHEME INVESTIGATED BY FLORIDA REGULATORS The Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering opened an investigation after receiving an anonymous complaint detailing a wide-spread race-fixing scheme that would yield thousands of dollars to participants. The scheme was premised on trainers causing dogs to lose trifecta races through undetectable means and placing bets at a window with a cooperative teller. The primary subject of the investigation had held a Florida pari-mutuel license for 10 years and had already cashed in on the scheme, but regulators were only able to prove that he had wagered against his own dog and that he had falsified his application for a pari-mutuel license by not disclosing a felony conviction for racketeering, distribution and sale of cocaine. Four contract kennels were suspended during the investigation.
Source: Florida DBPR investigative report, July 1998; WSVN Miami, May 28, 1998
45 GREYHOUND BODIES, INCLUDING 30 PUPPIES WERE DISCOVERED April 23 at a utility sub-station in O'Fallon, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis. Police investigating the case said the dogs were dumped in three areas of the property on three separate occasions in the last five months. The carcasses were in various stages of decomposition. The ears of nine adult dogs were crudely cut off, apparently to hide identifying tattoo marks that allow a greyhound to be traced back to its owner. The bodies of three rabbits and one cat were also discovered at the site. Such animals are known to be used to entice greyhounds to run faster in a practice called live lure training.
Source: St. Charles Post-Dispatch / Michelle Munz, April 25, 1998; USA Today / Tamara Lush, May 5, 1998
42 ABUSED GREYHOUNDS WERE SEIZED IN EAST AUSTIN, TEXAS. The dogs were being kept in filthy, makeshift cages, all were flea and tick infested and some had deep pressure sores. One of the dogs was so flea-bitten, its neck resembled "raw hamburger."
Source: Austin-American Statesman / Mike Kelley, Rebecca Thatcher, April 11, 1998
DILAPIDATED KENNEL CONDITIONS AT SANFORD-ORLANDO KENNEL COMPOUND NOTED BY FLORIDA STATE INVESTIGATORS A Pari-Mutuel report acquired by the Greyhound Protection League details the deplorable accommodations provided for racing greyhounds at the track-owned facility; collapsing ceiling, large holes in exterior walls, rodents nests, holes in fencing and rotting wood to name a few. Although the investigators had been aware of the situation since 1992, the report states that the Division has no authority to force the track to make improvements. An inquiry by investigators as who has jurisdiction yielded the following: Seminole County Animal Control refused to cooperate; Seminole County Building Dept. - no jurisdiction; City of Longwood Building Dept. - "has jurisdiction but does not oversee dog kennels." Contact was made with every trainer in the compound; none would complain to track management for fear of losing his or her booking.
Source: Memo to Chief of Investigation, Florida State Pari-Mutuel Division, March 3, 1998
TRAINER CHOKES GREYHOUND IN RETALIATION FOR STARTING A DOG FIGHT AT JCKC DBPR records obtained by the Greyhound Protection League contain the following: " On September 27, 1997, a fight erupted in a holding kennel. One greyhound was injured in the fight and was euthanized. Respondent, angered over the fight, grabbed the dog that started the fight by the neck and attempted to strangle the dog." Case was dismissed without prejudice. Trainer did not renew his license.
Source: Florida DBPR records, April 1998
POLICE FIND CRACK COCAINE IN DOG TRUCK OF SEMINOLE GREYHOUND PARK TRAINER A Seminole greyhound trainer was stopped on a second offense for not having a valid Florida drivers license. Crack cocaine was discoved in the vehicle. The trainer was arrested, even though she insisted that the crack did not belong to her.
Source: Police Report, Casselberry Police Department, September 9, 1997
14 UNDERWEIGHT AND FLEA INFESTED GREYHOUNDS WERE BROUGHT TO THE THOMASVILLE ANIMAL SHELTER in Georgia on September 3, by a kennel operator from the Jefferson County Kennel Club, an end-of-the-line track in northwestern Florida. The small shelter was unprepared for the sudden influx of so many dogs. The same operator left another seven greyhounds with Tallahassee Animal Services and another three dogs at the track. Through emergency response efforts by Florida greyhound adoption groups, most of the dogs were saved. Two of the three dogs left at the track had already been killed.
Source: Shelter report, September 1997
A WEAKENED GREYHOUND SUFFERING FROM EXTREME MUSCLE ATROPHY WAS RESCUED AFTER BEING CONFINED IN A SMALL CRATE WHERE HE COULD BARELY STAND OR TURN. The dog was kept alive for breeding purposes, according to adoption coordinator Lenka Perron of Michigan Retired Greyhounds As Pets. "He doesn't have much longer," said Perron "but he deserves to have a better life for the little time he has left."
Source: Detroit Free Press, September 1997
A MALNOURISHED GREYHOUND AND HER PUPPIES WERE FOUND AT A BREEDING FARM OUTSIDE PHOENIX, ARIZONA The dogs' owner, Ansel Styles was employed as the announcer at Phoenix Greyhound Park. Styles' breeding license was revoked after the Arizona Department of Racing found the puppies and other dogs living without adequate water. The dogs were infested with parasites and the property was extremely unkempt.
Source: ADOR investigative report, August 1997
EIGHT GREYHOUNDS RACING AT APACHE GREYHOUND PARK WERE DIAGNOSED WITH CANINE DISTEMPER AND WERE EUTHANIZED IN FEBRUARY The dogs had been leased to a kennel with a booking at Apache by owner Robert Lee Wooten, who was later fined for failure to vaccinate his greyhounds against common canine diseases. A follow-up inspection of Wooten's facility by the Arizona Department of Racing (ADOR) found that seven out of eight puppies from a recent litter had died and that another ten dogs had been euthanized a week earlier.
Source: ADOR Investigative Reports, 1998, Greyhound Network News, Fall 1997
BODIES OF SEVEN GREYHOUNDS DUMPED IN DITCH AT JEFFERSON COUNTY KENNEL CLUB The skeletal remains of up to seven greyhounds were found by the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering investigators who visited the scene after receiving an anonymous call. The remains of one dog lay on a pile of dirt; the skull of a second was protruding from a plastic bag; fresh piles of dirt indicated that four or five more corpses were present in the ditch. The Division concluded that the only statute that had been violated was a county regulation which cited improper burial of animals, but took no action beyond writing a letter to the track owner. The June 9th letter, which was signed by the Director of the Department of Business & Professional Regulation, contains the following statement.
"In as much as it is not illegal to properly dispose of these carcasses on your property, this situation was not a proper disposal and certainly presented an undesirable image and potential health hazard. As you well know, there are numerous animal activist groups who will seize the opportunity to inflame public opinion against greyhound racing, as with the incident cited herein. Please consider initiating action to rectitfy this situation and educating your employees in order to preclude future troublesome complaints. We need to work together to preserve the future reputation of greyhound racing in Florida."
Source: June 7, 1997, Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering investigative report obtained by the Greyhound Protection League
MORE THAN 40 GREYHOUNDS FROM THE GREENETRACK, ALABAMA DOG TRACK WERE ILLEGALLY DONATED FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH BY A KENNEL OPERATOR AND A TRACK EMPLOYEE. The dogs were provided to Mississippi State University without the knowledge or permission of their legal owners. The Greyhound Protection League and In Defense of Animals filed suit against the University for the release of the greyhounds.
Source: NE Mississippi Daily Journal / M.G. Morris, February 8, 1997, Legal Records, Greyhound Protection League FOIA request
9 EMACIATED GREYHOUNDS APPARENTLY DEPRIVED OF FOOD AND BEDDING WERE BROUGHT TO A LOCAL VETERINARY OFFICE by rescue workers. One of the animals was almost unconscious and near death. The dogs had been in the care of a trainer at Connecticut's Plainfield Greyhound Park. The greyhounds were covered with sores, fleas and ticks and several were 20-25 pounds underweight. "They were all basically starving," said Dr. John Robb, the vet caring for them. Racing officials and track management at first insisted that the dogs could not have come from the Plainfield facility, but later admitted that they had. At least two of the dogs had raced recently.
Source: Associated Press, January 12, 1997; The Hartford Courant / Lyn Bixby, January 30, 1997
APPROXIMATELY 600-800 GREYHOUNDS FROM THE PENSACOLA FLORIDA TRACK ARE DISPOSED OF EACH YEAR BY A LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER. Black bags filled with the dead dogs are picked up at local veterinary offices and dumped in the county landfill. Commenting on the situation one local veterinarian said, "I do this [euthanize healthy greyhounds] because it's the best way to deal with a horrible situation. It's not wonderful what I do, but as long as greyhound racing is legal, we need to be sure that when these animals are disposed of, it's done in the most compassionate way possible...I'm not going to stand on the sidelines because probably the only way things will change is if greyhound racing becomes a thing of the past."
Source: Pensacola News Journal / Troy Moon, November 24, 1996
HUNDREDS OF DEAD GREYHOUNDS REPORTEDLY BURIED IN THE 1970'S ACROSS FROM THE SEABROOK, NEW HAMPSHIRE DOG TRACK WERE SPECULATED TO BE THE CAUSE OF E. COLI BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION RECENTLY DISCOVERED IN THE TOWN'S WATER SUPPLY. Two wells near the track were found to be the cause of the contamination. One resident claimed 1,000 greyhounds were buried at the site in the 1970's. Water Superintendent Warner Knowles questioned that figure but said he had no firm numbers. Both wells are now permanently closed.
Source: The Hampton Union / Susan Morse, September 13, 1996; WBZ-TV, September 11, 1996
10 STARVING GREYHOUNDS WERE RESCUED FROM THE PROPERTY OF A TEXAS MAN WHO CLAIMED TO BE STARTING A DOG FARM. County investigator Wilfred Simon said, 'This is the worst case I've ever seen. There's feces everywhere. The dogs are starving.' The previous month officials found the dogs in the backyard of the property feeding on the carcasses of two dead greyhounds.
Source: Galveston Daily News / Wes Swift, August 7, 1996
THE GREYHOUND PROTECTION LEAGUE TRACES 60 GREYHOUNDS ABANDONED IN EAST TEXAS TO A FLORIDA RACE TRACK Sixteen dogs were found along a roadside unable to walk and grossly underweight. Two dogs were found dead nearby and several others were rumored to be dead on private property, according to a local sheriff. The dogs had been transported from Monticello, Florida in a small dog truck in which 3-4 dogs were reportedly crowded into single kennel compartments, forcing most of the dogs to stand for the estimated 1,000 mile trip to Texas. Later, another 32 greyhounds from the same dog haul were found at the property of an individual in an adjacent county who had died shortly after purchasing them for match racing. Some were severely sick and injured. The Greyhound Protection League worked with a local shelter to secure the dogs and get them transferred to adoption groups by Texas dog-men.
Source: The Hampton Union / Susan Morse, September 13, 1996; WBZ-TV, September 11, 1996
STARVING GREYHOUND FOUND IN ARIZONA DESERT An emaciated, wounded racing greyhound, covered in fleas and ticks, was rescued from the desert. A veterinarian stated that her condition resulted from long-term neglect.
Source: Greyhound Network News, Fall 1996
THE BODIES OF APPROXIMATELY 16 GREYHOUNDS WERE FOUND OUTSIDE A RURAL FLORIDA SLAUGHTERHOUSE by an investigative team of a local television station acting on a tip. The slaughterhouse company, Skip Lea, processes dead animals into food for dogs, alligators and panthers. Skip Lea also supplies meat to many greyhound tracks and dog farms. When officials arrived the following morning, the evidence [the bodies] had been destroyed.
Source: WFLA-TV Transcripts, June 18, 1996; The Tampa Tribune, June 20, 1996; St. Petersburg Times, June 21, 1996
"HE'S MY DENNY," A TWO YEAR OLD MALE GREYHOUND RACING AT THE DAYTONA BEACH KENNEL CLUB DIED ON JANUARY 28, 1996 FROM UNTREATED, GANGRENOUS WOUNDS SUSTAINED IN A DOG FIGHT FIVE DAYS EARLIER. The dog was discovered when nearby greyhound adoption volunteers heard him whimpering in his crate. The dog's trainer and caregiver was arrested on a charge of felony animal cruelty. A kennel assistant was arrested on a misdemeanor animal abandonment charge.
Source: Daytona Beach News Journal / Joseph Ditzler, February 8, 1996
7 GREYHOUNDS WERE SOLD BY A NEW HAMPSHIRE TRAINER TO A CANADIAN WHO INTENDED TO CROSS BREED THEM WITH HUSKIES TO MAKE FASTER SLED DOGS. After numerous rescue attempts, officials finally rescued the dogs from an unheated shed in freezing temperatures. The dogs were housed two to a crate.
Source: The Concord Monitor / Ann Marie Timmons, January 11, 1996
DESPITE WIDELY REPORTED ATROCITIES IN 1993 AT THE COEUR D'ALENE DOG TRACK IN IDAHO, INCLUDING ELECTROCUTION OF UNWANTED DOGS, WIDESPREAD ABUSE CONTINUED INTO 1995, ACCORDING TO SEVERAL TRAINERS. One trainer was alleged to have electrocuted several dogs in 1992 but not targeted for investigation by the Idaho Department of Law Enforcement until May 1995. Stating common place abuse and inhumane kennel conditions, five trainers reported various cases in which dogs were shot, beaten and had their throats slashed. One claimed to have witnessed another trainer beat six puppies to death with a claw hammer. Several trainers admitted to drugging their dogs or overworking the animals to alter the outcome of races. One trainer described electrocution of dogs using the "Tijuana hot plate treatment," so called because in Mexico, 'they used to electrocute the dogs.' Another trainer who saw the device used to kill a dog at the track's kennel compound described how clips were attached to either end of the dog's body. When the switch was flipped, the animal reportedly screamed for twenty seconds. Bob Lee, general manager of the track admitted that electrocution had been used by other tracks in the past, but denied its use at his facility. Both the Idaho Racing Commission and the National Greyhound Association had reportedly been contacted repeatedly about abusive situations at the kennel compound.
Source: The Spokesman-Review / J. Tod Foster, September 17, 1995
20 GREYHOUNDS DIED OF HEAT STROKE at the Jacksonville Kennel Club in Florida. The temperature inside the kennel soared when the air conditioning unit broke down and the backup sensor failed. The sensor was improperly set at 98 degrees.
Source: The Florida Times-Union / Dana Treen, May 10, 1995
51 GREYHOUNDS DIED OF EXTREME HEAT EXPOSURE near Lubbock, Texas, when the air conditioner for the training room in which they were located stopped working. According to local law enforcement officials, three breaker switches for the air conditioning units were discovered in the "off" position while the other breakers switches were in the "on" position.
Source: Lubbock Avalanche Journal / Gina Howard, August 23, 1994
PHOTOS AND VIDEO TAPE OBTAINED BY THE GREYHOUND PROTECTION LEAGUE DEPICTING CONDITIONS ENDURED BY RESEARCH GREYHOUNDS EXPOSED ON DENVER TV A news story exposing footage of the bloodied and mutilated remains of greyhounds and the unsanitary holding pens the greyhounds were kept in until they were killed caused a media nightmare for Colorado State University. CSU has been the yearly repository for hundreds of excess greyhounds from Colorado dog tracks and local breeders for years. A university insider contacted the Greyhound Protection League and offered to obtain the evidence which became the basis for the three-day expose.
Source: Denver KGMH-TV, November 1993; Greyhound Protection League investigative files
65 GREYHOUNDS, MANY NEAR DEATH FROM STARVATION, WERE DISCOVERED AT A GREYHOUND BREEDING FARM in Ballinger, Texas. According to an animal control officer, the crowded kennels were filled with feces and skeletal remains of other dogs.
Source: San Angelo Standard Times / Andy Smith; Fort Worth Star Telegram, Associated Press, May 2, 1994
12 RACING GREYHOUNDS WERE ILLEGALLY SOLD TO THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA without the permission of the registered owners. Greyhounds are typically owned by private investors but handled on a day to day basis and often disposed of by trainers and kennel owners. In 1993, at the University of Arizona lab alone, approximately one hundred and twenty one greyhounds were killed in research.
Source: Tucson Citizen / Carla McClain, March 5, 1994
8 GREYHOUNDS WERE LEFT UNPROTECTED IN OUTSIDE RUNS DURING FREEZING JANUARY TEMPERATURES BY AN IOWA FARMER and were eventually seized by county authorities in Moscow, Iowa. The dogs had been left out during periods when the wind chill factors measured minus twenty five degrees.
Source: Cedar Rapids Gazette / January 1994
OVER 400 FORMER AMERICAN RACING GREYHOUNDS, INCLUDING MANY ORIGINALLY FROM NEW ENGLAND AND FLORIDA, WERE FOUND ABANDONED AND STARVING IN THEIR CRATES AT A BANKRUPT RACETRACK ON MARGARITA ISLAND, VENEZUELA. Humane officials discovered sixty-one dogs already dead and later euthanized fifteen others. According to one humane official, the greyhounds were dying at a rate of five a day.
Source: Boston Globe / Robin Romano, December 31, 1993
8 MALNOURISHED GREYHOUNDS WERE SEIZED BY ANIMAL CONTROL FORCES in Dumas, Texas. The courts charged the dogs' keeper with cruelty and removed the dogs from the facility.
Source: The Amarillo Globe / December 1993
180 GREYHOUNDS WERE INJURED IN A THREE MONTH PERIOD at Wisconsin's Dairyland track in 1993. Many of the dogs experienced career-ending injuries including broken legs, hips shoulders and hocks.
Source: The Milwaukee Sentinel / Steven Walters, September 1993
4 RACING GREYHOUNDS DIED IN TRANSIT APPARENTLY FROM DEHYDRATION OR HEAT STRESS in a hauling vehicle traveling through the Arizona desert from Colorado to Tucson.
Source: Tucson Citizen / Carla McClain, August 14, 1993
3 TIGHTLY MUZZLED GREYHOUNDS WERE FOUND ABANDONED AT A MARINA NORTH OF ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA.
Source: St. Petersburg Times / Carol Clancy, July 25, 1993
37 FLORIDA GREYHOUNDS WERE DISCOVERED DEAD AND ANOTHER 141 STARVING at a greyhound farm in Cherry Lake, Florida.
Source: St. Petersburg Times / Brian Landman, July 17, 1993
10 SEVERELY EMACIATED GREYHOUNDS WERE FOUND NEAR DEATH, ABANDONED IN A LOCKED KENNEL outside Phoenix. One dog was in the words of one humane officer, "the worst I've ever seen that was still alive."
Source: The Arizona Republic, February 27, 1993
28 GREYHOUNDS TOO SLOW TO RACE COMPETITIVELY IN THE UNITED STATES WERE SOLD TO A BRAZILIAN BUSINESSMAN TO INTRODUCE DOG RACING IN BRAZIL. The dogs, several of which had obvious injuries, were running exhibition races outside shopping malls in several cities.
Source: Boston Globe / Larry Tye, Rick Miller, November 10, 1992
RACER C.G. DUDE HAD A HEAVY GAUGE WIRE INSERTED INTO THE SHEATH OF HIS PENIS by trainer John Duncan at the track in Raynham, Massachusetts, supposedly to keep the dog from sexual arousal that might alter his racing performance. Duncan reportedly performed this procedure regularly on male dogs in his care.
Source: Boston Globe / Larry Tye, Robin Romano, November 8, 1992
12 UNDERWEIGHT AND MALNOURISHED GREYHOUNDS FROM A VERMONT TRACK WERE BROUGHT BY THEIR TRAINER TO BE EUTHANIZED AT A LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER. Multiple wounds on the dogs' bodies indicated excessive caging; their fur was reportedly covered with feces, dirt and pus. All had been housed within kennel facilities at Vermont's Green Mountain racetrack under the care of a veterinarian appointed by the state.
Source: The Burlington Free Press / Sam Hemingway, December 13, 1992
7 EMACIATED GREYHOUNDS FOUND ON URINE COVERED BEDDING IN DIRTY PENS WITH LITTLE OR NO VENTILATION were seized by Pima Animal Control officers in Tucson. The animals were suffering from excessive sores caused by insufficient bedding. They were in the care of a former NGA member.
Source: Arizona Daily Star / Joe Salkowski, June 10, 1992
175 GREYHOUNDS WERE TO BE SHIPPED FROM CANYON CITY, COLORADO TO HONG KONG TO RACE IN MACAU, ACCORDING TO A 1992 ARTICLE. In February of 1994, English greyhound trainer Colin Bastafield described his experience working in Macau to a British reporter: "The dogs there are literally raced to the death and rarely last more than six months," he noted. According to Bastafield, 40 dogs per month are regularly sent from Britain to Hong Kong on a twenty six hour journey in cramped crates. Four dogs per trip typically are dead on arrival.
Source: Jet Cargo News, March 1992; The People, February 16, 1994
THE DECOMPOSING BODIES OF 143 GREYHOUNDS SHOT IN THE HEAD WERE DISCOVERED BY FARM WORKERS IN AN ABANDONED FRUIT GROVE outside Phoenix. As in many states, the shooting of dogs in one's possession is not illegal in Arizona.
Source: The Arizona Republic / Brent Whiting, February 28, 1992
87 GREYHOUNDS BURNED TO DEATH IN A FIRE AT A WOODEN KENNEL COMPOUND in Lynn, Massachusetts, when flames ignited the shredded paper lining their cages. The independently-owned compound houses an estimated 1,000 dogs racing at Massachusetts' Wonderland racetrack. The state has no restrictions in its racing rules and regulations regarding housing and general treatment of the dogs.
Source: Boston Globe / Brian McGrory, February 14, 1992
200 FORMER AMERICAN RACING GREYHOUNDS, AWAITING SHIPMENT TO RACE IN VENEZUELA, WERE FOUND STARVING IN THEIR OWN WASTE at a greyhound farm in Summerfield, Florida. Humane officials also found recently killed dogs, including puppies.
Source: The Ocala Banner, November 1991; National Geographic Explorer (TNT), January 1993
8 GREYHOUNDS WERE FOUND SHOT TO DEATH IN A LEMON GROVE outside Chandler, Arizona. The dogs' left ears had been cut off to remove identifying tattoo numbers.
Source: Chandler Tribune, September 19, 1991
GREYHOUNDS WERE DISCOVERED IN DIFFERENT STAGES OF DEHYDRATION AND MALNUTRITION IN UNSANITARY KENNELS AT THE KEY WEST, FLORIDA TRACK COMPOUND in February 1991. Despite frequent warnings, conditions at the track included dirty, foul smelling pens, large trucks of feces left for days and excessive flea and tick infestations.
Source: Miami Herald, February 27, 1991
RANCID MEAT INFESTED WITH FLIES AND MAGGOTS was discovered at Florida's Key West dog track on November 28, 1990. Inspectors reported that many of the dogs were sick from ingesting rancid 4-D meat.
Source: Miami Herald / Dan Keating, March 3, 1991
38 GREYHOUNDS SHIPPED FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE WERE DISCOVERED IN THE KEY WEST TRACK COMPOUND LAYING IN THEIR OWN FECES AND VOMIT IN BARE WOODEN CRATES on October 16, 1990. Their trainer had not arrived. The dogs were grossly underweight.
Source: Miami Herald, February 27, 1991
2 FEMALE GREYHOUNDS WERE DISCOVERED IN A DUMPSTER AT A GREYHOUND KENNEL IN PHOENIX, ONE BLUDGEONED WITH AN OBJECT DESCRIBED AS A CLAW HAMMER. Both dogs were 50% underweight and close to death. Inside the kennel, one greyhound was found dead and 50 others were found in terrible condition.
Source: The Arizona Republic, September 30, 1990
101 SICK, SKELETAL GREYHOUNDS WERE CARRIED OUT OF A TUCSON GREYHOUND/BREEDING KENNEL 36 of the dogs could not be kept alive. Many of the dogs died from tick-borne diseases.
Source: Tucson Citizen / Carla McClain, July 12, 1990
THE BODIES OF 35 GREYHOUNDS WERE FOUND THREE WEEKS AFTER THE DOGS HAD DIED OF THIRST AND STARVATION at a Yuma training farm. The dead dogs were muzzled and locked into kennels and fenced areas.
Source: The Sun / Loren Listiak, June 27, 1990
2 DEAD GREYHOUNDS AND 23 OTHERS LEFT STARVING IN SMALL COMPARTMENTS were discovered at a greyhound kennel near Ocala, Florida, in 1989. The emaciated animals were covered in fleas and ticks.
Source: The Arizona Republic, September 30, 1990
AN ENTIRE KENNEL OF STARVED, DEHYDRATED GREYHOUNDS WAS DISCOVERED WITHIN THE YUMA TRACK COMPOUND. The greyhounds were caged and muzzled when found, some weighed less than 20 pounds. Six are known to have died. Others were euthanized.
Source: Court Affidavit on file with the Greyhound Protection League, Yuma, Arizona, 1989; Arizona Department of Racing Files
83 STARVING AND DISEASED GREYHOUNDS WERE FOUND at a greyhound kennel in Dowling Park, Florida. The dogs were in such poor condition that they were soon euthanized. "They were just skeletons that were breathing," said one official.
Source: The Ledger / Associated Press, August 18, 1989
2 DOG DEALERS SOLD AT LEAST 600 ARIZONA RACING GREYHOUNDS TO SEVERAL RESEARCH FACILITIES between 1988 and 1989, according to USDA records obtained by Greyhound Protection League founder, Susan Netboy. Twenty greyhounds were slated for an eight-week bone breaking experiment at San Francisco's Letterman Army Institute of Research; 63 were sold to UC Davis; 400 were sold to Gore Laboratories; the rest of the greyhounds were sold to 9 other research laboratories throughout California and Arizona. Through investigative work conducted by Netboy and lawsuits paid for by In Defense of Animals, 19 greyhounds were rescued from Letterman, 23 from UC Davis, and two from a lab located in Phoenix, Arizona. Lawsuits filed against the other institutions yielded confirmation that the remainder of the greyhounds were already dead. Insight into the seamy side of dog racing obtained through interviews with hundreds of dog owners over a two-year period spawned the founding of the Greyhound Protection League in 1991.
Source: Multiple Media Sources, 1989 - 1991
16 DEAD GREYHOUNDS WERE DISCOVERED AMIDST SPOILED MEAT AND HOUSEHOLD GARBAGE at the Granite Landfill near Athol, Idaho. 'It's always been accepted in the business that dogs that cannot win and cannot be adopted must be put down. It's just something that we do as an industry,' said Bob Lee, general manager of the Coeur D'Alene greyhound track. 'We try to play it down because it is unpleasant, but it happens.'
Source: The Spokesman Review / Kelly McBride, October 13, 1989
23 GREYHOUNDS WERE EUTHANIZED IN A SINGLE DAY AT THE ESCAMBIA COUNTY SHELTER IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA, WHICH REPORTEDLY RECEIVED 25 OR MORE GREYHOUNDS TO BE KILLED MONTHLY DURING THE RACING SEASON. The volume of greyhounds received was causing the facility to run a new $40,000 incinerator almost day and night. 'It's pretty common with dogs that don't run,' commented a local veterinarian. 'There are a lot that are killed; it's strictly a business.'
Source: Pensacola News-Journal / Cindy West, September 9, 1987
141 GREYHOUNDS WERE POISONED WITH A PESTICIDE USED TO KILL FLEAS AND TICKS THAT WAS MIXED INTO THEIR FOOD in 1986.
Source: The Arizona Republic / Brent Whiting, February 28, 1992
IN 1983, CITY WORKERS AT A KEY WEST LANDFILL WITNESSED GREYHOUND TRAINER MILTON BLACKWELL UNLOAD 6 GREYHOUNDS FROM A TRUCK LOAD OF DOGS AND SHOOT EACH DOG IN THE HEAD WITH A .22 CALIBER PISTOL. Blackwell was convicted of firing a gun, but acquitted of cruelty to animals.
Source: Miami Herald Tropic Magazine / Gary Karasik, October 21, 1990
DURING THE 1983 KEY WEST CASE INVOLVING THE SHOOTING OF GREYHOUNDS, VETERINARIAN WILLIAM DEANS TESTIFIES THAT MANY THOUSANDS OF GREYHOUNDS ARE DESTROYED ANNUALLY and admitted that he had personally euthanized approximately 10,000 greyhounds.
Source: Florida Court Records, 1990
DEAD AND DYING GREYHOUNDS FOUND ON FLORIDA GREYHOUND BREEDING FARM Acting on an anonymous tip, the sheriff's department and the Volusia County Humane Society discovered 33 starving greyhounds, including 12 puppies and the remains of at least 25 dead greyhounds. Investigators were unable to determine the exact number that died because the rest of the dogs had nothing to eat but the dead animals. Many of the dead were caged and muzzled. Three more dogs died after being rescued; the remaining 30 were eventually adopted, although it took some many months to recover because they had lost more than half their body weight. The Garners, who ran the "Lotsa Pride Farm," near Osteen, Florida, and had a booking at the Sanford-Orlando Kennel Club, were arrested on misdemeanor charges of cruelty to animals.
Source: AP and UPI, June 10, 1981
The cases above are those documented by media sources or legal documents since the 1980's. The Greyhound Protection League began actively tracking such incidents in 1989. Prior to that time, there was virtually no interest in the fate of greyhound racing dogs. Many more incidents have occurred but have not been reported in the press or cannot be accessed. According to industry insiders, reported cases of abuse and killing represent the tip of the iceberg.
PRIOR TO THE INTRODUCTION OF GREYHOUND ADOPTION EFFORTS IN THE LATE 1980's BY CONCERNED INDIVIDUALS AROUND THE COUNTRY, GREYHOUNDS WERE ROUTINELY DESTROYED FOR DECADES. For over 70 years the greyhound racing industry routinely destroyed unwanted greyhounds by the hundreds of thousands. It is estimated that since the beginning of organized pari-mutuel dog racing in the mid 1920's, close to a million greyhounds have been killed. Industry promotion of adoption began as public pressure for accountability increased in the 1990s.
NEARLY 20,000 GREYHOUNDS BRED FOR DOG RACING WILL DIE AGAIN THIS YEAR. Some will be humanely euthanized by veterinarians or animal shelters; others will be sold for medical experimentation and others will simply disappear to fates unknown.
Source: Greyhound Protection League Research Files (updated September 2004) based upon industry reported figures published in the Greyhound Review
Greyhound Protection League
GPL encourages the use and distribution of the information contained in this document. It is offered to the public, greyhound advocates, the press and legislators for informational purposes. This document represents years of work by GPL volunteers; it is not intended for use by entities interested in further exploiting greyhound dogs by using it solely as a fund raising tool and/or by those organizations that would claim this research as their own.