Greyhound park cuts back to four days

CEO says steroid bans hurt business, forcing shorter schedule
2013-01-15T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T11:19:14Z Greyhound park cuts back to four daysBecky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 15, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Saying restrictive new laws are hurting business, Tucson Greyhound Park will reduce its racing schedule from six days a week to four.

Dogs will race Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

There aren't enough dogs to run six days a week anymore, said park CEO Tom Taylor.

Dog owners have told him "it's not worth doing business in Tucson" because of new bans on giving anabolic steroids to female dogs to prevent them from going into heat.

Tucson banned the practice last year and Pima County banned it this month. South Tucson started a ban in 2008.

In response, Tucson Greyhound Park stopped injecting dogs, Taylor said. And the park is keeping female dogs who go into heat off the race track and separated from other dogs, he said.

The park was more upbeat about the changes on its Facebook page:

"Tuesday Night will be a quiet night here at Tucson Greyhound Park as we will not have live racing due to getting our new pups schooled! Lots of fresh pups coming on track!"

Supervisor Richard Elías said the intent of Pima County's ban was "was not to hurt business but to make sure they were treating their animals with the proper respect."

He said other influences, such as competition from local casinos and off-track betting, probably factored into the park's decision to cut hours.

Elías said dog racing is "a pretty caustic industry in a lot of people's eyes."

Taylor said dogs have been running races at the park for 69 years, and he would like to continue racing.

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at bpallack@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. On Twitter @BeckyPallack.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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