ARCADIA (CBSLA) — Santa Anita Race Track has seen more than three dozen horse deaths in the past year, and now officials are hoping new technology coming to the park will help save animal lives.

The device, called the Longmile Positron Emission Tomography machine — or PET scanner for short — is the first of its kind, officials said.

“In addition to having an increased resolution, we can really look in any direction of space at any level,” Mathieu Spriet, a professor at UC Davis, said.

To scan a horse’s legs, the animal is partially sedated and led carefully to the scanner where a veterinarian or technician helps guide the machine to the horse. The scanner ring then moves up and down the horse’s leg capturing imagery that the veterinarian can then analyze. If the horse moves during the scan, the ring automatically unlocks to protect the animal.

In addition to the PET scanner, Santa Anita Park officials said more technology was on its way.

“Hopefully by mid-January, we’re going to have delivered here at Santa Anita state-of-the-art standing MRI machines,” Craig Fravel, with Stronach Group, said.

PETA praised the steps being taken and said they were much-needed.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said it was continuing its criminal investigation into the horse deaths at Santa Anita Park for any evidence of criminal wrongdoing or animal cruelty.

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