Update: I did get a response from Director Bill Walsh today. See end of blog post.
On January 17, I faxed a public records request to Arizona Department of Racing regarding a racing greyhound who was found dead in her cage at Tucson Greyhound Park in mid December.
Tucson Tails found out about the incident from an inside source.
After faxing the public records request asking for information about the dead greyhound –Atomic Charm — and getting nothing, I contacted Mr. Bill Walsh, Director, Arizona Department of Racing. I had requested “all records & reports, including autopsy records/reports, necropsy reports/records, investigative records/reports regarding the death of ATOMIC CHARM, Greyhound at TGP – December 2012.”
Here is my email correspondence with Mr. Walsh on Jan. 23:
to Bill, bcc: karyn
On Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, I faxed in a public record request as to the death report or any report for a TGP greyhound – Atomic Charm – who was found dead inside a TGP kennel in mid December.
To date, a week later, I have not heard anything from Cassie or your office as to the cost for any reports.
1) if you received the faxed request – according to my fax machine the request was sent
2) when I might expect the documents that I asked for
3) the cost
Here is Director Walsh’s response:
Jan 24 (5 days ago)
to Cassie, me
I am unaware of both your request and of any report on this matter. But I was in Tucson last Friday and then there was a three day holiday weekend following which both Cassie and I have been slowed down by illness.
We will look into it today and if such a report exists and the Department possesses it, it will be on its way expeditiously.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID
Atomic Charm would’ve turned 3 years old on January 26, 2013 if she lived that long. She ran 102 races. According to Greyhound-Data, she last last raced December 5, 2012 and her last win was November 12, 2012. Does Atomic Charm’s owner know that she is dead? Does he care?
To date, I have not heard from Mr. Walsh again or received any documents. I don’t want his stinking excuses either.
A TGP kennel operator comes in to work in the a.m. and a dog is dead.
–Does anyone in authority care?
–Does anyone in authority ask why?
–Is there a record of dead greyhounds at Tucson Greyhound Park?
–Is there any oversight for the welfare of the living or dead dogs at TGP by the Arizona Department of Racing?
In October 2012 Tim Vanderpool of the Tucson Weekly wrote an eloquent article about ADOR titled, Bad Track Record.
“Almost 70 greyhounds were injured over a two-month period at TGP—and the state handed out no punishment”
It surely seems that ADOR doesn’t care about 70 injured racing greyhounds or about dead greyhounds either. The Greyhound Data site lets you see the detailed pedigree map of Atomic Charm (and a million other greyhounds) yet ADOR is clueless about one dog that died at TGP.
(photo courtesy Perry Wood)
(the bold words are mine not ADOR)
12:55 PM (2 hours ago)
to me, Cassie
Please forgive the delay in getting back to you. The bottom line is that there is no document that we possess to respond to your public record request. I looked into the situation and, after talking to the Department’s chief steward and chief veterinarian, learned that this greyhound (Atomic Charm) was found dead in its kennel one morning. The dog’s carcass was placed in a freezer and when Dr. Carlton came to the track that evening, he inspected it and could find no outward evidence of any injuries to Atomic Charm – nothing broken, no evidence of any needle marks etc. Dr. Carlton could ascribe no reason other than natural causes for its death. I hope this helps answer your question.
Arizona Department of Racing
This is chilling on so many levels: 1) The Arizona Department of Racing refers to the dog as “it.” I referred to the dog as “she.” 2) Her body was referred to as a carcass. 3) The Arizona Department of Racing was unaware of a race dog’s death. What exactly do they regulate? 3) “nothing broken, no evidence of any needle marks etc. Dr. Carlton could ascribe no reason other than natural causes for its death. 4) ” If an almost 3 year old racing greyhound is found dead, how can Dr. Carlton assume natural causes?” Is that business as usual? Is it standard procedure to throw the carcass of a dog into the freezer without further investigation? Why can’t a necropsy be done? Where is the Disposition Logs that every kennel is supposed to keep?