Last week, I traveled to Charleston, West Virginia to address the state Racing Commission about the issue of cruelty to greyhounds. My trip was preceded by a request to you that comments be sent to the Commission in favor of a newly-proposed anti-cruelty policy.
I am happy to announce that the Commission agreed with humane advocates and not only approved the humane policy but also immediately acted on the new mandate by referring two kennel workers for criminal prosecution under the state anti-cruelty law. Read the story here.
In March 2013, according to state disciplinary records, James P. Grace and James E. Bloom of the Cardinal Kennel allowed a broken-legged dog named Kiowa Dutch Girl to sit in her cage for as many as four days with no veterinary care whatsover. Bloom, who witnessed the injury, described the leg as "bleeding, dangling" and stated that "Girl" was "whining just panting so I thought she was in pain. She couldn't put weight on it." "It looked broken." Read his full statement here.
Thankfully, Racing Commision vet Dr. Lori Bohenko received an anonymous tip, rushed to the Wheeling Island kennel, and ordered that the suffering dog be brought to a hospital immediately. It turned out that Kiowa Dutch Girl had not one, but three fractures in her hock! On April 8, the license of kennel manager James P. Grace was revoked and that of trainer Bloom was suspended for neglect and "deprivation of necessary care for an injured greyhound." Now both cases will go before prosecutors who may choose to pursue further charges. The state anti-cruely law penalizes anyone who 'intentionally, knowingly or recklessly withholds medical treatment necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to end the suffereing of an animal.' Read the section here.
The best news yet is that Kiowa Dutch Girl was placed for adoption and finally got the loving home she deserved. Let's keep working until all greyhounds get that same chance. Together, we can end the cruelty of dog racing nationwide.
Happy National Dog Day!
Christine A. Dorchak, Esq.
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