Dog Racing Trainer Disqualified After Her Winning Dog Tested Positive For Meth

After her winning dog tested positive for methamphetamine, greyhound trainer Angela Helen Turnwald was disqualified from dog racing.

According to the New Zealand Herald, greyhound Zipping Sarah experienced a win at a dog race at the Addington Raceway in Christchurch last November. However, after being drug tested following the race, her results came back positive for meth.

Turnwald was immediately disqualified from the race and $4,000 prize for pumping her dog with meth prior to the race and will be unable to enter dogs in future races for four months. She was also hit with a $3,500 fine.

Photo: Pixabay

Greyhound racing has long held a history of neglect, violence, abuse, and drugs. According to the GREY2K USA WORLDWIDE, greyhound racing dogs are regularly pumped full of drugs and hundreds have tested positive for drugs such as meth, codeine, caffeine, and more.

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Beyond the unethical practice of drugging the race dogs, greyhound racing is notorious for neglecting and injuring even the best-kept dogs. The Humane Society states:

“According to government records now available, common racing injuries include broken necks and broken backs, dislocations, torn muscles and paralysis. Electrocutions have also occurred when dogs make contact with a track’s high voltage lure. Some dogs die on the racetrack while others are put down due to the severity of their injuries or simply because of their diminished value as racers.”

Photo: flickr/Rainer Hungershausen

They further shared that in a 10 year period, more than 15,000 greyhounds in the racing industry were reported injured, which doesn’t include any injuries from Alabama or Flordia where injuries don’t have to be reported.

In addition to suffering injuries and death, the dogs are also confined to cruel living conditions. The Humane Society reported that “Greyhounds used for racing are kept in cages, barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around, for up to 23 hours per day. Shredded paper or carpet remnants are used as bedding.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Regarding Zipping Sarah, The New Zealand Herald reported that the Judicial Control Authority for Racing didn’t actually deem Turnwald as committing “a deliberate wrongdoing.” How forcing a dog to take meth and risk injury and death isn’t a “deliberate wrongdoing” is a mystery, but it seemed to be a small deal to the racing authority.

They even admitted, “The level of amphetamine (as it metabolised from methamphetamine) in the sample was particularly large,” which is what promoted the four-month racing ban and fine.

Animal rights advocates have been pressuring the government to take greyhound racing more seriously and have pushed for investigations in the industry. The Minister for Racing did open a review of the industry and the animal rights group, SAFE, is demanding that dog racing be suspended until the review is complete.

Photo: Pixabay

Thus far, the minister has been “shocked” by his review. The outlet reported he said, “I have informed Greyhound Racing NZ that I am not satisfied the recommendations are being implemented in a way that is improving animal welfare, and with their failure to provide sufficient information on changes they are making. It is the responsibility of the industry to hold itself accountable and ensure the best possible standards of welfare for greyhounds.”

Animal rights advocates don’t believe that greyhounds in the racing space will have adequate welfare standards until the industry is abolished, but any steps in protecting those dogs are steps in the right direction.

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