Weld County, Colorado – Video from a well-known Greyhound trainer in Weld County sparked an investigation into allegations of using a live rabbit in training.
“This is an incredibly cruel and barbaric activity where greyhounds are given small animals to hunt,” said Carey Thiel.
Theil is with GRAY2k USA Worldwide, an activist group aiming to end dog racing across the country. Theil says the organization hired an investigator who recorded a low quality video that Grey2k said shows a man dropping a live animal and then releasing the greyhounds to chase it.
Using live animals to train dogs is illegal under state law.
“It has been banned in the industry for decades,” said Theil.
GREY2K says the person in the video is John Lashmet. Lashmet and his wife Jill breed greyhounds for racing in Mexico and the few US states where dog racing is still legal.
“These are top-class breeders who have been in the industry for many, many years – decades and decades,” said Theil of the Lashmets.
Lashmet did not respond to our request for comment, but he has denied the allegations made to our partners at the Denver Post, claiming that the object in the video is a motorized object simulating the movement of a rabbit.
Part does not buy it.
“That’s just not the case. No sane person would look at the footage and think that,” said Theil.
A spokesman for the Weld County Sheriff’s Office told Denver7 it was clear that something was in the person’s hands, but the grainy video made them unable to identify what it is and who is in the video. MPs have been to the farm twice since the lawsuit was filed and have not found any evidence to support the allegations.
Lashmet is the youngest greyhound breeder GREY2K has accused of illegal training. Three more cases in the past two years have cost trainers their license in Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma.
“We hope that this will be the case when finally not only measures are taken against the loss of the license, but also criminal charges are brought,” said Theil.
The Colorado Division of Racing Events is now investigating and working with the Weld County Sheriff’s Office but declines to comment.