|A photo of Kiowa Dutch Girl taken by Dr. Lori Bohenko|
According to an official state Record of Incident, West Virginia Racing Commission veterinarian Dr. Lori Bohenko visited the Cardinal Kennel on March 8 to check on Dutch Girl. The day before, state regulators had directed the kennel's owner to immediately transport the dog to a veterinary clinic so she could receive treatment. By that point, Dutch Girl had already suffered for at least three days with an untreated broken leg.
According to Dr. Bohenko, when she arrived on March 8 the dog's life was in jeopardy:
"James Grace greeted me and when I asked him 'what he knew' he responded by telling me that the dog was at K.E.Y. Animal Hospital and it looked like she would was going to be euthanized. I instructed him to call the clinic immediately and inform them not to euthanize 'Kiowa Dutch Girl.' As Jim was on the phone, I entered the kennel to look for 'Girl' and found that her crate was empty."Dr. Bohenko also asked Grace why he had not contacted her when Dutch Girl was first injured:
"I then asked him why he didn't contact me and ask for help in stabilizing the dog. He had no answer."Dr. Bohenko then contacted the veterinary clinic where Dutch Girl had been sent, and learned that the dog had broken one of her legs in three places. She asked the clinic when Dutch Girl had been admitted, and learned that Cardinal Kennel owner Bob Mackey had not immediately transported the dog to a veterinary as state regulators had instructed, but instead waited another day. Because of this delay, Dr. Bohenko indicates that kennel owner Mackey violated state racing rules:
"Since Mr. Mackey had been informed by State Presiding Judge to transport 'Kiowa Dutch Girl' to a veterinary hospital immediately on Thursday, March 7, 2013 he is in violation of West Virginia Rules of Greyhound Racing as outlined below."Despite this violation outlined by Dr. Bohenko, we have found absolutely no evidence that any disciplinary action was taken against Mackey. Further, we have received no indication that Grace has been referred to local law enforcement officials for possible prosecution under the anti-cruelty law.
This sad case raises many important questions about how dog racing is regulated in West Virginia. As we move forward and address these issues, one thing is certain: Dr. Lori Bohenko saved the life of Kiowa Dutch Girl. For that, greyhound advocates across the country should be thankful.