By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:33 AM on 10th August 2011
A greyhound trainer who pumped his dog full of Viagra to make him ‘run his head off’ at unlicensed races has been banned from keeping dogs for life.
Anthony Gregory Fowler, from Stockton-on-Tees, also gave his greyhound cannabis to slow him down, allowing him to profit from wins when the dog was then given more favourable odds.
The 61-year-old was affecting odds at unlicensed race meetings, Hartlepool Magistrates Court heard.
The trainer told police in an interview he fed his greyhound Jake boiled cannabis when he wanted him to lose races.
When the odds were better and Fowler wanted Jake to win, he would feed him Viagra or a testosterone-based drug – then watch him ‘run his head off’.
John Ellwood, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said police interviewed Fowler last September after receiving reports he was involved in selling cannabis.
Mr Ellwood said: ‘He admitted in interview that he fed his greyhounds cannabis when he wanted them to lose races. He did so by boiling the cannabis.
Race fixing: Fowler would also give dogs cannabis to slow them so they would lose races, a court heard (File picture)
‘He explained that the nandrolone and travel sickness pills which he had would affect the way the dogs would run and in particular he showed the officer Viagra tablets which according to him make them “run their heads off”.’
A greyhound trainer fed his dogs Viagra to run faster
Fowler was interviewed by an RSPCA inspector at a later date but by this time Jake was dead.
He escaped jail for causing unnecessary suffering to Jake but was given an 18-week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay £1,000 costs at £10 a week.
Mr Ellwood told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court that Fowler had Jake put down after he injured his shoulder at a race track.
The grandfather, from Stockton-on-Tees, previously admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to Jake and two charges of administering drugs to a dog knowing it to be poisonous.
John Nixon, defending, said there was no evidence Jake suffered anything other than being lethargic after taking cannabis and pointed out that police sniffer dogs often ingest the drug.