A Tucson Greyhound Park dog with a compound fracture to its leg waited in a kennel for days before being released to a rescue group, Pima County records show.
The dog waited even longer for surgery on her exposed limb.
By Sierra Gold broke her leg during a race on Oct. 21 but was not placed with an adoption group until Oct. 26. She underwent surgery after being transferred to another group, GreySave, in Pasadena, Calif., on Oct. 29.
Care was delayed for the 2-year-old dog because she bit a track worker who was trying to help with her injury and therefore had to be placed in a rabies quarantine, said Dale Popp, manager at the track.
“We worked with the state and with Pima Animal Control,” Popp said. “We had our own vet there, checking up on the dog.”
After four or five days passed, Popp said, they were given special permission to move the dog to the care of an off-site veterinarian.
“When a dog is under quarantine, the dog has to stay on the property,” he said. “There was a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure that dog was cared for.”
But moving an animal that’s in need of medical care can be carried out even if they are under quarantine as long as Pima Animal Care is notified and approves, said Kelli Baugus, an enforcement care specialist with the agency.
The bite victim, who is referred to as a juvenile employee in county records, was treated and released from University Medical Center for injuries to his face. The injured dog bit the boy while he was assisting a track vet with wrapping the animal’s leg, records show.
The dog’s rabies vaccination was current at the time of the bite, records show.
Popp referred additional questions about what kind of medical care and pain relief the dog received at the track to Aaron Larriva, the track’s racing secretary. Larriva could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Records on the dog’s veterinary care at the track are not available through the state’s Department of Gaming because she was treated by the track veterinarian and not the state vet, said Amanda Jacinto, spokeswoman for the department.
The dog, now called Goldie, is still recovering from her surgery and is up for adoption in California.
“The severity of the break and the fact that it was compound was not discovered until she got to the vet’s office in Tucson on the 26th,” the GreySave site reads. “Once the severity of the break was known and the AZ vet discussed amputation as a good possibility, the Tucson adoption group contacted GreySave and we decided to get Goldie over to a very experienced orthopedic vet.”
The dog is now wearing a custom-made splint and is expected to be fully recovered by the end of February. Her medical costs so far are around $7,000.
No one with rescue groups here or in California will discuss what they have witnessed because, they say, the park will blacklist them from receiving other dogs if they publicly discuss their rescues or dog racing.