TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Record heat in Tucson Monday led to some questions about whether it was safe for greyhounds to race.
Tucson Greyhound Park would not comment Monday. But the Arizona Department of Racing listed several reasons why racing could continue.
A department spokesman explained that nighttime temperatures are lower than during the day. He said that the track veterinarian and stewards monitor the dogs constantly. He also explained that the dogs were to be transferred from air-conditioned kennels to an air-conditioned paddock starting at 5:00 p.m., and that they would likely be in the heat for three to five minutes for their race before returning to air conditioning.
Whether to delay a race due to heat remains up to the track. A Tucson City Council member who has spoken out in the past against the track had concerns about racing that evening.
"Give the dogs a break, for gosh sakes, if the ADOR cared, they'd issue this edict themselves but that's what I would prefer the track do, show that they do have a little bit of concern for the dogs' well-being," said Ward 6 Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik.
The new requirement that dog injury reports must be provided to the public by the Department of Racing has yet to take effect. That will begin later this summer.