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May 6, 2014 12:44 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Brewer signs into law: greyhound injuries and deaths must be made public

TUCSON - Dog and horse racing in Arizona is now under tighter scrutiny. Late Monday the Governor passed Senate Bill 1282.

It allows betting by telephone but bans internet wagers. It also ensures that injuries or death involving race dogs be recorded, and for the first time, be made available to the public.

Many greyhound advocates like Susan Via of Tucson consider this a step in the right direction.

Via has turned her home into an animal rescue.

"Well we call our place Second Chance Ranch because we give animals who are unwanted or discarded a second chance. We've rescued horses, feral barn cats and greyhounds," says Via.

She's rehabbed greyhounds since 1998, but says steroid injections and malnutrition caused by racetracks can be deadly.

"My first two greyhounds I lost very young because of problems created by the track," says Via.

Via has kept a close watch on legislation to protect animals that don't have a voice.

She's ecstatic S.B. 1282 was passed, ensuring the animals' welfare is looked after. "It provides open and transparent injury and death reporting so the public will learn, finally, the true cost of greyhound racing."

Here's a breakdown of what the law entails:

- All race-related injuries or deaths reported to the track veterinarian, must be reported by the Arizona Department of Racing, and then made available to the public within the first 10 days of each month.

- An injury form must be filled out, signed by the track vet and witnessed by a department official. Those forms must also detail where and how the injury happened and estimate the dog's recovery time.

The ultimate goal of many greyhound advocates is to see dog racing banned in Arizona and nationwide.

Via says, "we're going to publicize each and every one of those injury reports, so the tax payers of Arizona know that they are subsidizing greyhound animal cruelty."

News 4 Tucson has reached out to the Arizona Department of Racing and Tucson Greyhound Park for comment, we're still awaiting a response.

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