Earlier today (Friday 2nd May), The Bendigo Advertiser ran a story claiming greyhound involvement in one of two dog attacks in the region in the last few days.
Under the heading “City warns pet owners – Dogs attack again”, The Advertiser quotes Greg Pilchard, alleging “his dog Rusty was set upon by two greyhounds on Wednesday”. The story comes just two days after a whippet- cross fatally mauled a duck at Lake Weeroona.
Mr Pilchard further alleged “The owner of the greyhounds was picking up the droppings of one of the dogs when Mr Pilcher walked passed with Rusty ….”
“As I went passed, one of his greyhounds got away from him and just made a beeline for my dog,” Mr Pilcher said.
“When he came across with the other dog he lost control of it too… so the two of us spent about 15 minutes trying to wrestle these two dogs, trying to get them to let go of my little one.”
Rusty was treated for six puncture wounds to his body and Mr Pilcher believes restrictions should be placed on greyhound owners who wish to walk their dogs because of the “ferocity of the breed”.
The Advertiser further quotes Mr Pichard as saying “… a council ranger informed him that muzzles did little to prevent a greyhound from attacking” and that “..the dogs are trained to be killers..”.
City of Greater Bendigo manager for park and animal control, Neville Zimmer; said a decision would be made on the future of the greyhounds in coming days.
Such sensationalist reporting does little to help the image of greyhound racing and uneducated comments such as those attributed to Mr Pilchard by the journalist invloved, only serves to sell newspapers.
Thankfully the GRV have responded to The Advertisers article and GRV stewards are investigating.
Here is the GRV response :
“GRV Stewards are currently gathering information about the incident. GRV considers the circumstances surrounding this incident to be extremely rare. Greyhounds are not a vicious breed and the responsibility of every owner of any breed of animal is to exercise common sense in the controlled handling of their animals in public places – greyhound owners and trainers are no exception.”
“If GRV is notified of any incident involving a greyhound that may contravene the Rules of Greyhound Racing, the incident will be investigated by GRV stewards. However, it must be realised that such incidents may first be subject to Police or Council investigations.”
“GRV Rules do not allow for greyhounds that are under the care and custody of a registered person to be unmuzzled (except those that have successfully passed through the Greyhound Adoption Program) or off leads in public places and offenders may face suspension, disqualification, a life ban or, beyond this, criminal charges.”
“Irrespective of the degree of such investigations, it must be stressed that processes of procedural fairness and natural justice must be afforded to persons allegedly involved in such incidents.”