Greyhound trainer Dorothy Ruth is rufuting claims that one of her dogs Razl Dazl Billy was shot earlier this summer.

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The Leinster Leader reports: “The dog, Razl Dazl Billy, trained by Dorothy Ruth at Punchersgrange, Rathangan, suffered a fatal heart attack last summer. However stories began circulating among the greyhound racing and breeding fraternity in the Newbridge-Milltown-Rathangan area that the dog had been shot dead at Punchersgrange.

One colourful version suggested that the animal was shot by one of a group pretending to be interested in its stud services and that the dispute which led to the shooting originated in the kidnapping of a horse trainer more than twenty years ago.

“It is absolutely rubbish, a complete lie. If any such thing had happened the police would have been called. I have heard several stories and all of them are rubbish,” ,” Ms. Ruth told the Leader.”

Sudden, unexplained heart failure has been cited as the reason for the dogs death:

“It is not unknown for greyhounds, including well-bred greyhounds, to die because of heart conditions and often at a relatively young age. That is what happened to Billy and I’m sure if you looked into it you would find many more cases. I know of two other Derby winners who died because of heart failure.”

A greyhound racing source also confirmed he had heard the rumour but didn’t believe it.

“Dogs can die of heart problems. It is not ununsual even in dogs as young as two years,” he said.

County Waterford based breeder Michael Dunphy said he too had a top class dog who died unexpectedly in its kennel of hear failure. Like A Shot won the UK Derby and Scottish Derby. “I have had some great dogs and they died suddenly and without explanation. It happens with animals, including farm animals. It is something that is natural but it may attract more attention if the animal has a high profile,” he said.”

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