My Kate Caraway mystery series, features Kate Caraway, an animal rights activist and her husband, retired Chicago Cubs catcher, Jack Ryder. Each story involves Kate and Jack’s heroic attempts to bring justice to cases involving animal cruelty. In the first book, Run Dog Run, Kate becomes embroiled in the ugly world of greyhound abuse as she attempts to shut down one racing operation and prevent several greyhounds from a fate worse than death.
Run Dog Run
Jesús Flores stood in the shadow of the live oak on the far side of the ranch, making sure no one was around. A slight breeze, heavy with stench, blew in his direction. It was late morning, but August in Central Texas began heating up weeks ago, making the situation worse. He covered his nose with his bandana and ran over to the cluster of old cages.
For weeks Jesús had kept his mouth shut for fear of losing his job. But things had become much worse and he couldn’t keep quiet any longer. He peered into the last kennel and his breath caught. Anger swelled inside his chest. There were more than a dozen dogs crammed together in a space so tight they were forced to stand. The kennel floor was slick with urine and feces. Their coats glistened with sweat. Their panting did little to cool them. Although the greyhounds looked in good shape despite the horrid conditions, he knew these dogs weren’t destined for any racetrack. Jesús wanted to take a garden hose and shower the dogs with sprays of cool water, but he needed to get the evidence he’d come for and leave before it was too late. He whispered a prayer to St. Francis, made the sign of the cross, and got down to business.
Minutes later, Jesús made his way back to the training course and the kennel where the Fordyce racing dogs were kept to check on Fordyce’s new acquisition. Purchased just last week, the young greyhound was scheduled to run at River City Greyhound Track. Now she lay on her side, heaving and gasping for air. At first Jesús thought it was the heat, but the mist fans were circulating and this kennel area felt cool. Her water bowl was full and her morning meal half-eaten. Then he recognized the symptoms. He ran to the other cages, checking each dog. They appeared fine. Relieved, he hurried back to the last cage. Fumbling with his keys, he unlocked the door, and stepped inside. The vet’s office was only a ten-minute drive. But as far as this racer was concerned, the office may as well have been on the moon.
Copyright @ Kathleen Kaska 2009