The death of a dog during a race at Tucson Greyhound Park about a week ago prompted requests from Tucson News Now to the Arizona Department of Racing for copies of kennel disposition logs and the track roster. Such requests could show when dogs are injured, adopted, or put down. But the department said that it doesn't maintain those records. "You think we want to know what's going on out there?" asked Bill Walsh, director of the Arizona Department of Racing. Are you nuts? The place is a hell hole," he continued. "As long as they keep signing my paycheck I have no reason to have anything to do with them."
OK, not the response we were looking for, but perhaps there is some technical regulatory reason for all this that we as mere citizens don't understand because we don't have the years of training and experience it takes to be on the ADOR Board. Can you explain for us Susan Via, a greyhound welfare advocate?
"They deliberately do not inquire so they don't have to give the information out to the public."Oh come on now Ms. Via. Surely it's more complicated than that. Why, these people are entrusted with the welfare of highly trained athletes in whom a lot of money and time has been invested. Surely it is in everyone's best interest to make sure that investment has the best conditions, the best food and the best care available, is it not?
She said that a bill that has passed the state Senate and is headed to the state House of Representatives would make that pre-emption of local authority official and make the track off-limits to city or county authorities such as Pima Animal Care."There's nothing South Tucson, or the county, or even PAC could do, as a county agency, to go in and investigate any complaints of dogs being left without veterinary care, dogs without water, dogs that are sick, dogs that are injured, dogs that are dead.""Right," said ADOR director Walsh. "That's our job. Well, it's supposed to be our job, but like I said, I'm not going anywhere near that dump. It's too depressing what with all the drunks and losers hanging around. And then there are the people that bet on the dogs."
Well, that is a point Mr. Walsh and we certainly don't envy your responsibilities in this matter, but maybe you should have thought of that before you dropped out of Walmart Greeter School. Surely there must be someone out there with the insight to solve this dilemma.
Representative Ethan Orr said that he thinks that he can remove not only the increase in authority that the bill gives the department, but also increase the department's accountability. "Anytime you get information out, you're not only making the racing more viable but you're protecting the dogs and frankly, the people that work at the dog track"Excellent idea Mr. Orr. A partnership among the local governing units and the ADOR all of which leads to a better, safer life for the greyhounds who have been conscripted to earn money for the otherwise unemployable. Who could argue with that?
The director of the Department of Racing said that the department cannot take a position on proposed legislation that might require him to do his job until the state employment compensation board rules on his claim that lack of moral fiber is an identifiable disability. Tucson Greyhound Park general manager Dale Popp could not be reached for comment. His office stated that he is A) out of town through the end of the week, B) in a meeting, or C) kidnapped by aliens.
Boy, we're thinking if that legislation goes through old Popp is going to wish C was the correct answer huh Charlie Brown?
Sweet and lovable Charlie Brown is affectionately called "Chuck" at his foster home. Chuck is a bit shy at first meetings. Fortunately he does not take after the unlucky Peanuts character he is named after, no Lucy yanking the football! And Good Grief! This fellow has been a huge success with house rules! For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here.