The deaths of seven greyhounds at an Arkansas track this summer has caused state racing officials to look at the rules for handling racing dogs.
On August 9, a fight started between a group of greyhounds at Southland Gaming and Racing’s track. One dog was already dead when the state veterinarian arrived at the scene, and the others had to be euthanized because of their injuries.
The racing director of the track said the males dogs were in a “turnout pen” during temperatures of over 100 degrees. There was a lot of activity and excitement in the pen with all of the dogs and the dogs quickly became overheated.
The track has discontinued its contract with the kennel company that was supervising the dogs. There was only one person looking over both the male and female turnout pens when the fight began.
Commission members asked the state veterinarian to meet with track officials and members of the Arkansas Greyhound Association to figure out ways to prevent future incidents and possibly new rules for the supervision and operation of turnout pens at the race track.
“This has never happened before. I don’t know if anyone anticipated something like this happening,” said Byron Freeland, the commission’s attorney. “If this could be a problem in the future, we may need a rule requiring proper supervision.”