Bushmills Major.

The Greyhound which was left to die of thirst in a Lothians police station was an ex-racing dog whose successful career had apparently been ended by injury, animal welfare campaigners said today. The three-year-old, known as Bushmills Major, had won several races on tracks across the north of England before his final run late last year. He failed to finish his last race, leading campaigners to believe he suffered a serious injury. The Greyhound was found dead at Dalkeith Police Station last month after being left without food and water for 10 days. Now animal welfare campaigners are organising a fast to raise money for other abandoned racing dogs. Their research shows the dog was born in Ireland before spending most of his career in races in northern parts of England. Details of the Geyhounds’ brief life have been pieced together after a Greyhound trainer came forward to admit leaving Major at Dalkeith Police Station, claiming he was a stray. Major won several races after first racing in 2005. He became a regular racer on the tracks of Brough Park in Newcastle and the Regal Sunderland Stadium, before moving on to Pelaw Grange in Chester-Le-Street. His last licensed race was on September 30, when he appeared to suffer an injury and did not manage to finish the race. Supporters of the Retired Greyhound Trust are now urging animal lovers to skip a meal and donate the cost to the charity. Their internet appeal says: "Bushmills Major's death must not be in vain. Let him have died so that the unwanted Greyhound problem is brought to the attention of the whole country."

Greyhound Action Scotland said they had been inundated with e-mails since the death of the dog was first reported last month. Amanda Wells, who lives in Haddington and is chair of Greyhound Action Scotland, said: "After looking at the dogs’ race history, it looks like he suffered a severe injury during his last licensed race at Pelaw Grange, because he didn't manage to complete the race. Often when dogs are not fast enough they get sold on to the flapping [unlicensed] tracks, and there are a few of those in Scotland. He was obviously carrying an injury, but they've maybe tried him out at the flapping tracks until he's no use any more. We've had hundreds of e-mails and phone calls. It has really shocked people. Sadly, it is only the police level of involvement that made this an unusual news story that caught peoples’ attention. Unfortunately, this kind of mistreatment of a retired Greyhound happens all the time."

In Scotland, there are four unlicensed Greyhound racing tracks at Armadale, Stirling, Fife and Gretna. There is only one registered track, at Shawfield, Glasgow. Ian Carmichael, who runs the Edinburgh branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust at Braid Hills, said: "It was absolutely shocking what happened to that dog. It should have been there for a day and there's no excuse for it. We only re-home Greyhounds from registered trainers, who are accountable for where the dog ends up, and we never find too many problems doing it. In fact, there's sometimes a waiting list, but the problems are coming from these unlicensed trainers and that's what needs to be stopped. There's absolutely no excuse for leaving a dog like that, but it's no surprise that it has happened."

Major was placed in a holding kennel in Dalkeith Police Station courtyard on January 2. His body was only discovered when officers noticed an unpleasant smell from the kennel on January 12. It is believed officers at the station could face charges of animal cruelty and abandonment. A police spokeswoman said: "Inquiries into the incident are ongoing and when finished a report will be passed on to the procurator fiscal."

Below is the predictable result of the farse that was "an investigation"

POLICE who left a stray dog to die after it was handed in to their station will not face criminal charges.

Four months after the body of emaciated greyhound Bushmills Major was found dead in a kennel, the Record understands there will be no prosecutions.

The three-year-old racing dog was left at Dalkeith Police Station, Midlothian, on January 2 by his owner's son who said it was a stray.

It was locked in a kennel at the back of the station but animal welfare workers were not told he had been handed in.

No record was made of the dog's arrival in the station logbook.

It was 10 days before his body was found. The dog was dumped in a bin, which was emptied before bosses were informed.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the Crown Office insisted prosecutors were still considering the case but sources said the lack of a body made charges impossible to bring.

David Melville, of the Greyhound Awareness League, said no prosecutions was "astonishing".

A police spokeswoman said: "We have submitted a report to the procurator fiscal and are waiting for a decision."

Cops are to carry out their own inquiry. (Isn't that so reassuring to know? ---John.)


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