Wanted: 192 missing greyhounds
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:
TUCSON–Greyhound Protection League president Susan Netboy
has offered $10,000 for information leading to the discovery of the
fate of 192 ex-racing greyhounds who vanished in 2005 and early 2006
after they were taken from the Tucson Greyhound Park by Richard
Favreau, 37, of Calhan, Colorado.
“All we can do is pray that someone will respond so that
these dogs don’t become casualties of the greyhound racing industry
like the other 15,000 greyhounds who disappear each year,” Netboy
told Anslee Willett of the Chicago Tribune. “They just disappear.
In our opinion, they are destroyed.”
About 28,000 greyhounds per year are retired from U.S.
tracks. Some are adopted out, some kept as breeders, but most are
believed to be sold to laboratories.
Greyhound Network News publisher Joan Eidinger, of Glendale,
Arizona, told Michael Clancy of the Arizona Republic that Favreau
sold 2,652 dogs to the Colorado State University veterinary medical
school in a recent three-year period.
Summarized Willett, “Between November 2005 and July 2006,
Favreau contracted with the Tucson Greyhound Park to take dogs to
Colorado and place them with adoption organizations. He was paid
$150 per dog, more than double the average price of $60, to
transport each greyhound.”
But Netboy said she could find records documenting the fate
of only eight dogs. Those eight were placed by Colorado Greyhound
Adoption, of Littleton.
Favreau did not comment to Willett, but told Clancy that the
missing dogs were “fine.” Wrote Clarncy, “The Arizona Depart-ment of
Racing, which regulates greyhound tracks, is trying to get to the
bottom of it.”
Offering purses less than a third the size of those at the
Phoenix Greyhound Park, the Tucson track is considered the end of
the line for dogs who don’t win.
Dogs retired from Phoenix often become breeders, or are
placed in homes by Arizona Adopt a Greyhound, Adopt a Greyhound
spokesperson Kari Young told Clancy. By contrast, Arizona Greyhound
Rescue president Mary Freeman said, the four southern Arizona
greyhound placement groups cannot come close to coping with the
Favreau in mid-October 2006 “was suspended for 60 days and
fined $1,000 by the Arizona Department of Racing, the maximum
amounts, for failing to keep proper records on the dogs,” Clancy
continued. “The racing stewards [also] referred the case to the
director for further investigation and possibly harsher penalties.”
Favreau was summoned to a November 29 hearing.
“The Tucson track has a spotty record with the Racing
Department,” Clancy noted. “Earlier this year, several track
officials had their licenses suspended and paid fines for their roles
in the loading and transport of 35 dogs to a track in Juarez, Mexico.
Eight dogs died in transit.”
Opened in 1944, the Tucson Grey-hound Park drew 66,787
bettors in 2001, but only 51,743 in 2005, a slide of 22%.