For those of us who believe that dog racing is cruel and inhumane, our strong preference would have been to end dog racing immediately. However, we wrote the Greyhound Protection Act as a 14-month phase out period to give track workers an opportunity to make a successful transition. This was a responsible approach, and we do not regret that decision. However, these latest injuries highlight the fact that the 14-month phase out was not a small compromise on our part. It is a compromise that literally has a real cost.
Nearly 900 greyhounds have now been injured in our state since 2002. The vast majority of these injuries involved broken legs, and other reported injuries include paralysis, death from cardiac arrest and head trauma. But these reports are not just statistics. They also tell the story of greyhounds that suffered and died at tracks in our state.
Dogs like Lazy K Jarvis, who died after running into a wall at Raynham Park on December 5, 2008 and suffering paralysis. Or Talsta, a three-year-old white and black greyhound who died after suffering cardiac arrest after a race at Raynham Park on January 19, 2009. Both of these dogs died after voters approved the Greyhound Protection Act, but unfortunately the new humane law was not able to help them. This fall, when some lawmakers inevitably call for the will of the voters on Question 3 to be undermined, we must remind them of these dogs.
Dog track workers have already been given a 14-month delay. On January 1, the dogs will finally receive the consideration they deserve.