I just read a story that makes me want to scream. The Arizona Daily Star reports that as 27 racing Greyhounds were hauled across country to race and breed, 8 died. None of the surviving dogs received any medical care, even though the people transporting them knew 8 dogs had died of probable heat exhaustion.
Once the first dog died, something should have been done to make sure that the other dogs would not die the same way. How did 7 more dogs die? Were the people transporting them so negligent that they didn’t even check on the dogs and didn’t know that any had died? After they discovered 8 dead bodies, they should have gotten medical care to make sure the rest were ok. But did they? No. They kept going – right past the vet at a racetrack that was one of their destinations.
It’s unbelievable how people can be so cruel. Driving from Oklahoma to Arizona by way of Texas is a long, hot stretch of highway. These deaths occurred in September, when many parts of the country are cooling down but the Southwest still faces daily temperatures over 100 degrees. The couple driving the dogs, Lonnie and Jamie Doyle, told investigators that they couldn’t check on the dogs because of a severe rainstorm. Investigators found that, according to the dates, times and places that the couple said they drove through, there were no rainstorms whatsoever.
They lied to cover up the fact that their neglect killed these Greyhounds.
The Doyles probably had air conditioning, bottles of drinking water, seat belts to protect them on this 1000-mile trip. Did the dogs have any of the same protection? Since 8 died (no word on the condition of the remaining dogs upon arrival), the answer is probably no.
But they’ll be punished. Don’t worry. In the name of justice for these 8 dogs, the Doyles received their sentence yesterday: a 30-day suspension and a $500 fine each. Not per dog, per person. 30 days out of racing and $1000 in total fines for the deaths of 8 dogs.
Since the people responsible for these deaths are getting off so lightly, I only hope that this case has some other form of justice for these dogs’ deaths. Here’s what I want to see:
• People get angry that this happened and spread the word about this tragedy.
• Professional dog haulers are required to provide a minimum standard of care, much like Proposition B in Missouri (aka the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act) lays out a minimum standard of care for dog breeders.
• Dog owners across the country realize that death is a very real possibility for dogs in hot cars and change how they transport their own pet dogs.
Each year there are stories of dogs that die of heat exposure in vehicles, whether at the hands of so-called professionals or negligent pet owners who thought that cracking a window was enough. Hopefully by the time next summer rolls around, we won’t have forgotten these 8 dogs and the fact that their deaths were completely preventable and unncecessary.
Tell your friends.
If you liked this, you might also like:
How Arizona business mogul should have protected his dog from dogs heat stroke
Safe dog travel by car
Puppy mill cruelty prevention act facing battle
Photo by Ronnie McDonald on Flickr and used with Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.