|Greyhound Protection League
PLAINFIELD GREYHOUNDS SUCCUMB TO SICKNESS
Apr 10, 2003 - Connecticut Fourth State to be Stricken in Kennel Cough Epidemic
Thursday, April 10, 2003 - The alarming increase in the number of scratches, a reduction in the number of races at Plainfield Greyhound Park (PGP) and a cancellation of Monday races leads the Greyhound Protection League (GPL) to conclude that Plainfield greyhounds are the most recent victims of the kennel cough epidemic that has stricken thousands of greyhound racing dogs in Florida, Alabama and Rhode Island. PGP cancelled races on Monday for "unknown reasons" but resumed again on Tuesday and Wednesday, with 22 and 14 scratches respectively, on reduced cards of just 12 races each day. "It's clear that something is going on with these dogs; this is the same pattern we've observed at the other ten tracks where dogs have come down with the sickness," said GPL spokesperson, Susan Netboy whose organization has been tracking the spread of the epidemic for the last three weeks.
"To continue racing in the face is this crisis is a gross violation of the standard set by responsible tracks like Lincoln and others that cancelled races and ordered at least 14 days of complete rest for their greyhounds as soon as the problem was recognized," said Netboy. "It's typical of a "cheap track" like PGP to put profits over the health and welfare of the dogs." PGP has not revealed how the sickness came into their kennel compound.
GPL intends to seek intervention from the State Veterinarian and the Governor of Connecticut to oversee the welfare of the Plainfield greyhounds. "Given PGP's response to date, it is clear that track officials can't be trusted to do the right thing by these dogs; outside oversight by an agency that isn't blinded by profit margins is desperately needed," said Netboy. "GPL is not going to sit back and let them risk running the dogs to death." In 1999 streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, a fatal condition, which is brought on by kennel cough killed 3 Plainfield dogs, 13 at Seabrook and at Derby Lane. Racing was disrupted for months, ultimately causing sickness in thousands of racing dogs nationwide. "They didn't learn anything from the devastating 1999 epidemic," concluded Netboy. "Plainfield continued racing the dogs, just as their doing now."
The Greyhound Protection League is a national greyhound welfare organization.