Saturday, 1 March 2008

Cover-up following killing of Harry

A beautiful blue greyhound - racing name Harrys Junction - was to endure weeks of neglect and suffering before his life was ended in the back of an RSPCA van, and yet the owners are facing no charges.

As far as the RSPCA are concerned the matter is now closed and the couple in question are not prevented from owning another pet.

This tragic story concerns yet another greyhound disposed of by the racing industry but this dog was not abandoned or homed independently by the trainer as is often the case.

Harrys Junction was put up for adoption with the Retired Greyhound Trust (RGT) with responsibility for homing of the animal given to Barbara Townsend who represents ReHome a Greyhound, Marshland St James.

On 27th September 2007 a couple in Wisbech took possession of the greyhound and soon afterwards neighbours became very worried about the animals treatment and welfare.

An RSPCA inspector visited the property in November and advised the owners to have the greyhound examined by a vet. Both the health of the dog and suitability of the home were of concern.

The same inspector again visited the property on 07th January 2008 when the greyhound was surrendered by the couple and later euthanased by the RSPCA following a brief examination of the dog at Amical Veterinary Centre.

Townsend, a trainer attached to Peterborough Stadium, states having checked on the greyhound several times including shortly before Christmas when she believed the animal was fine, and so it would appear her perception differs greatly to that of the inspector.

RGT Director Ivor Stocker has tried defending Townsend by stating "circumstances in the home can change" but this is not believed to be the case.

The male occupant admits that the greyhounds head was stood on causing a loss of sight in one eye and there was an attempt to stitch a leg wound themselves. No wonder local residents could hear the animal yelping out in agony.

That said, the couple are shocked to hear of the animals fate. It is their view the greyhound was not suffering any injury or illness that could in anyway be considered fatal and so why was the animal destroyed by the RSPCA?

The charity refuse to answer any questions, using the Data Protection Act as an excuse (information specific to the greyhound is not covered by the act), and Amical Veterinary Centre have been instructed to make no comment.

It appears the greyhound was conveniently disposed off and what we are now seeing is a cover-up.

For every dog that enters racing another will not make the grade and is likely killed. It is the same fate for many greyhounds that have competed on the track and not all are humanely put-to-sleep by a vet.

Harrys Junction, however, was given the chance of a secure future when placed with the RGT but suffered a premature death also due to failures on the part of all concerned. He was just 5 years old.