Two men recently punished by the state racing commission denied proper treatment to a greyhound with a broken leg, and a third man hit another dog, according to newly released information.
The West Virginia Racing Commission released the new information Monday.
The Daily Mail reported June 5 that the Wheeling Island racetrack board of judges punished James Bloom, James Grace and Christopher Bever for separate incidents of greyhound abuse or neglect.
Grace and Bever lost their trainer's permits, while Bloom's permit was suspended for six months.
The commission originally confirmed the punishments for the three men but did not provide any details about their cases in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by the Daily Mail.
The requests asked for "all supplemental materials, including witness statements," relating to the incidents that led to the punishment. On Monday, the racing commission provided more information about the cases.
The racing commission misunderstood the request, said Executive Director Jon Amores.
"Once it was clear on what was being requested, we complied," Amores said. "We certainly have the documents available, and make them available."
The documents consist almost entirely of statements from witnesses, investigators and those involved in the incidents.
On March 7, racing commission veterinarian Lori Bohenko and Wheeling Island director of racing Jane Horvath inspected Cardinal Kennel, according to an incident report. They visited the compound, located in the Brooke County town of Beech Bottom, because Bohenko reportedly received an anonymous tip that an injured dog was not receiving treatment.
In her report, Bohenko said the first thing they noticed was the smell of urine.
"Upon arrival, I began choking so badly that even my eyes were watering," Horvath wrote in her report.
"When I composed myself, I realized that it was a strong odor of urine that had affected me."
Grace was the kennel manager and Bloom was the trainer of record for the Beech Bottom location of the Cardinal Kennel, according to a statement from kennel owner Roberty Mackey. Grace, Bloom and Mackey were not at the kennel the morning Bohenko and Horvath came for the inspection.
They asked another employee to show them "Kiowa Dutch Girl," a dog they believed to be injured. Bohenko said the female dog had an obvious injury to her right hind leg: She couldn't put any weight on the swollen limb.
"Even with my untrained eye, it was very noticeable that she had a severely swollen leg - even up into her hip," Horvath wrote.
The kennel worker escorting Bohenko and Horvath said the dog was receiving only aspirin for the injury and Grace had told him not to take the dog to the vet.
In a sworn statement, Grace said when he first saw the dog, it didn't appear that she was in any kind of distress and swelling was minimal. However, he goes on to say he knew the leg could have been broken.
Both he and Bloom decided not to take the dog to the vet because they thought it would be too expensive to treat the injury and would cause the vet to put her to sleep.
"I've been working with greyhounds for 35 years, and I've seen many breaks over the years where dogs were not taken to the vet and they healed naturally (and) given away as pets," Grace said in the statement.