Angela Helen Turnwald Suspended from Races After Dog Tests Positive for Meth

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2021

FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2018, file photo, greyhound dogs sprint around a turn during a race at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Florida greyhound racing will soon hit the finish line as the sport suffered a rout at the ballot box. The state voted 69 to 31 percent Tuesday, Nov. 6, to pass Amendment 13, which bans the sport beginning on Jan. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Greyhound trainer Angela Helen Turnwald received a four-month suspension and a NZ$3,500 fine after one of her dogs tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine. 

According to Radio New Zealand, Zipping Sarah placed first in a race at Addington Raceway in Christchurch, New Zealand, last November. A post-race urine test was flagged for the two substances.

However, the Judicial Control Authority for Racing was unable to determine when the drugs were given to the dog, and Turnwald wasn't found liable for any "deliberate wrongdoing."

JCA panel chairman Warwick Gendall said Turnwald needed to be punished nonetheless because methamphetamine "poses significant animal welfare issues" and that the level of amphetamine—metabolized methamphetamine—in Zipping Sarah's system was "particularly large."

Will Appelbe, a spokesperson for the animal rights group SAFE, went further and called the usage of methamphetamine in dogs "depraved" and "abhorrent." The organization is calling for the government to stop all greyhound racing while it completes a review of the industry as a whole.

"The government's review is promising, but every day that dogs are raced, the risk of painful injury is high and death is never far away," Appelbe said. "To protect dogs, the Minister should immediately halt racing until the review is complete."