Greyhound dog race injury renews controversy

Published: Feb. 1, 2016 at 1:17 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:12 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A racing greyhound was severely injured during a race at the Tucson Greyhound Park on Saturday, Jan. 30.

This incident continues the controversy over the treatment of dogs at the track and a Tucson city council member said it is more proof that the track needs to be shut down.

"The dogs are injured out there. Dogs have died out there," councilman Steve Kozachik said. "This dog is seriously injured. He's got huge gashes and a broken leg."

Kozachik said he was angered when he learned the dog, Canaan Dollar, was hurt. In a video, the dog is seen sprinting out of a stall and veering off and colliding with the rail just seconds into the race.

Greyhound Park General Manager Dale Popp said the dog is doing well.

"He's got a few abrasions, cuts and possibly a broken leg," Popp said. "But all and all, he's doing pretty good. It's a professional sport. It would be naive to think you're not going to have an injury in a professional sport."

Kozachik said this injury is another example of mistreatment of greyhounds at the track. Last summer, a KOLD News 13 investigation discovered the majority of greyhounds taken in by local rescue groups were former racing dogs with injuries ranging from broken legs to heat stroke.

"The track is known in the industry as a kill track," Kozachik said. "These are where dogs go at the end of their racing career."

Popp said he does everything possible to make sure the dogs are safe and personally walks the track before each race. He said the accusations are simply not true.

"To refer to the Tucson Greyhound Track as a kill track, that's just another negative thing our city councilmen or politicians want the general public to believe," Popp said.

Popp said it is too soon to tell if the injured dog would be able to race again.

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