A Northern Tasmanian woman says she heard "a horrible squeal of pain" from an injured greyhound that was dragged out of a Launceston vet clinic by its male owner and allegedly thrown into a trailer.
Rachel Spillane runs the Border-Collie Rescue, Rehome and Sanctuary Tasmania and was visiting the clinic at about 6.30pm on Tuesday this week, to pick up her own dog, when she said she saw the injured greyhound in the waiting room with its owner.
Her witness account comes as the Office of Racing Integrity racing director Justin Helmich said it is investigating an incident occurring on November 23 at the Launceston greyhound racing trials involving an injured greyhound.
Ms Spillane said she was shocked when told by the owner that the greyhound had a broken leg and was to be euthanised.
"It was a compound fracture, the bone protruding through the skin and some blood was on the floor at the man's feet. I was horrified," she said.
She said she had been told the man arrived at the clinic without an appointment from the Mowbray racecourse, and was annoyed when he could not be seen right away and allegedly got angry when he was told he would be charged an after-hours fee.
After a brief time, she said she saw the man suddenly marching the dog outside.
"He was walking as fast as he possibly could, with the dog scrambling, walking really fast behind him," she said.
"He walked straight over to the fence between the vet and shopping centre car park, dropped down underneath the fence and dragged the dog with him.
"I couldn't see where he was going ... the next moment I heard this God-awful scream, cry, squeal from the dog, and I was just starting to head out the door when the vet staff reappeared and said that he had just thrown the dog into the back of the trailer."
Ms Spillane said she had since heard from official sources that the dog was euthanised the following morning.
She said she was angry and sad that the doghad apparently lost its life for no reason, and became even more upset when she learnt that government money was available to help pay for the costs of injured greyhounds.
"That dog could have had its leg amputated and lived a really happy life with three legs. I don't understand why the dog was euthanised, or why the dog was allowed to be euthanised," she said.
"There are options that could have been taken, but this beautiful boy was a greyhound, born to the world to race and if he could not race had no place in the world.
"I want to make sure this dog's death isn't in vain, and that something happens as a result of it."
The Greyhound Recovery Rebate Scheme provides money to owners whose greyhounds are injured at official racing sessions and trials, where up to $3000 can be claimed for veterinary costs.
"I know there may be greyhound owners out there who race their dogs and do look after them extremely well, but if people cannot care for their dogs in a humane way, and can't be advocates for their dogs even if they are not winning races, or have injuries, then they should not be allowed to have dogs, it is as simple as that."