This is a story that doesn’t happen on the dog track. The story unfolds on May 9th somewhere on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, Florida. For us greyhound adopters, the story unfolded on Facebook and conjecture and photos fly right and left.
See updates below
The story begins with a greyhound who was found running on I-75. A good Samaritan rescued the dog from traffic; he was initially dubbed Freeway because that is where he was found. The dog was muzzled. (For non-greyhound folks, dogs are usually muzzled when being transported.) The good Samaritan called Gold Coast Greyhound Adoption (GCGA). Kendra, the Gainesville volunteer adoption coordinator, immediately took the dog to the nearest veterinarian school (University of Florida Veterinary School). In order for the dog to be treated, Kendra needed to pony up a credit card which she did willingly.
This is what most adoption people do – the welfare of the dog is always first.
Initially the conjecture was that the dog had been out for 3 to 5 days based on the opinion from the vet school staff for how badly the wounds looked but according to the dog’s trainer, he was out less time.
The greyhound’s racing name is Petey D. He was being hauled from Sarasota Kennel Club to the Ebro Greyhound Track when he and another dog may have gotten into a fight and somehow the latch opened, and both dogs fell out. The driver pulled over and found the other dog, looked for Petey D for 1.5 hours but was unable to find him, and continued on his way.
The trainer was unaware of Petey D’s mishap and the owner was shocked. Both seemed concerned about Petey’s condition and are glad to know he’s in capable hands.
These photos illustrate the story but mercifully Petey D continues to improve. He pees. He poops. He is thirsty and drinks water. He stands on his own. He eats a little chicken. His resilience is amazing. He will need another debridement surgery to remove the dead tissue in order for new tissue to grow. He is far from recovered but there is hope.
Because of social media, Petey D’s story has touched the hearts of many. So far people in 30 states, three Canadian provinces and Washington D.C. have pledged money or donated using Paypal. You know who you are: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, MO, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV and British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Ontario.
GCGA has six chapters. Gainesville adopts out 20-30 dogs a year; Clearwater does 30-50 dogs a year, and Orlando which shuttles dogs north, does over 300 dogs a year.
You can follow Petey D’s recovery on Facebook.
Update a/o 5/14/12: He tried to bloat overnight but I rushed him into UF CVM ICU. He only had a lot of gas but never twisted. He is comfortable this morning and should have his second surgery to try to cleanup some more of those wounds.
Update a/o 5/15/12: Freeway/Petey is doing very well this morning. Talked to the student on his case (Maria) and she said he ate this AM, got up, walked outside to pee, and is comfortable. They will change the wet to dry bandages this afternoon on those hip wounds. He will most likely be in the hospital the rest of the week and then hopefully go to his foster home this weekend. Another week in the hospital with two surgeries is going to add up quickly.
Update a/o 5/16/12: Greyt news this morning! Petey D is doing so well he is now trying to chew off his bandages. Eating and drinking on own and now off of fluids as well. One last minor surgery tomorrow to close the hip wounds and he is being discharged on Friday morning. Thanks again for all of the support we have gotten. Please use this spirit of good will to help out your local greyhound (or other breed) rescue group. Most are all volunteer and work off of donations. THANKS AGAIN!
To make a donation via Paypal, click here OR send a check to:
Gold Coast Greyhound Adoptions Inc.
Attn: Freeway/Petey D
PO Box 6501
Clearwater, FL 33758-650
–Is there no established NGA protocol for a hauler to report a lost greyhound that falls out of a truck? Call the owner. Call adoption groups in the area. Call the NGA (National Greyhound Association). Call the local county animal control or highway patrol. Is it business as usual to just drive away and hope nobody notices?
–Some pro racing extremists have vilified Kendra saying she should’ve looked at the dog’s tattoos first and contacted the owner right away. Yeah, right; as if this dog is ever going to race again. (For non-greyhound folks, dogs are tattooed in both ears for identification purposes. If you live in Arizona, you may remember Chandler Heights 1992, when 124 dogs were found in the desert dead with their ears cut off so there would be no finger pointing as to ownership.)
–Herein lies the difference: Adoption saves dogs as do many concerned people in the racing industry, but this small posse of raging pro racing extremists, not so much.
–The dog’s owner and the NGA should be contributing to help pay for Petey D’s medical bills. Kendra says accidents happen. Yes, they do. The entire greyhound racing community, whether you are pro or anti or neutral, should come together to give Petey D another chance which he most definitely deserves. Every ex racing greyhound deserves a second chance which is why adoption groups exist.
–Please keep Petey D in your thoughts and prayers. And thank you to Kendra and the dedicated volunteers at GCGA for all they do for the Florida racing greyhounds. There are 13 dog tracks in Florida.
- Petey D’s paws