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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

helpless greyhound s were found dead in their kennels

UPDATE: 20 Greyhounds Found Dead At Racetrack

UPDATE: There are new developments in the story of the greyhound trainer who starved his dogs to death.  Ronald Williams has now been charged with the death of 32 of his own dogs and last night the local sheriff's department found the remains of 8 additional greyhounds.

The decomposing bodies of the dogs were found under a bridge by the side of the Choctawhatchee River.  The area is nearby Ebro racetrack.  The greyhounds are believed to have been owned by Williams.

Also, workers and other trainers at Ebro had reportedly complained over the past several weeks to management at the track that fouls smells were coming from Williams' kennel.  No one investigated and Williams told staff that a freezer in his kennel wasn't working and the smell was decaying meat.

Ebro officials vow to change their off-season policies and to never let anything like this happen on their racetrack again. 



A sad story of animal cruelty is being reported from the Ebro greyhound racetrack in Florida, where at least 20 helpless dogs were found dead in their kennels.  The dogs’ trainer is being held responsible for the deaths.


The Florida Department of Pari-Mutuel Wagering found the greyhounds on Friday after they received a complaint from an animal rescue organization.  Twenty of the dogs were reported dead and five were found alive in their kennels.


Four of the greyhounds were turned over to the state of Florida as evidence while a fifth dog was taken to a veterinarian for emergency treatment.


Trainer Arrested

An investigation is now underway, but first appearances point a finger at the dogs’ trainer - Ronnie Williams.  He has been charged with one count of animal cruelty and more charges are expected.


Track officials and the Washington County Sheriff’s office are not guessing how the dogs died and are waiting for necropsy reports, but one early unofficial account said the greyhounds were found with duct tape over their mouths. 


The sequence of events that led to the sad discovery began when Ronnie Williams brought eight dogs to Greyhound Pets of America’s Emerald Coast chapter, last week.  The group had agreed to take 10 dogs into their custody so they could be adopted into new homes. 


However, Williams arrived with only eight dogs and the rescue group noticed that those greyhounds were extremely underweight.  They suspected abuse and notified their national headquarters and the National Greyhound Association.  These organizations contacted the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Department.


By Friday Mark Hess, assistant general manager at the racetrack, had made the gruesome discovery.


He said in an UPI interview, “We’re shocked, appalled, pissed off and all around disappointed.”


The Dogs Were In Good Health

Officials at Ebro said that all of the dogs in Ronnie Williams’ care were healthy when the racing season ended on September 25.


Once the park closes, the trainers are given 60 days to move the dogs to another racetrack or turn them over to an animal rescue group for adoption. 

No one is sure what Williams has been doing with the dogs for the past five weeks.


Ebro Park reported that Ronnie had been coming to the racetrack every day to see the greyhounds and told other trainers that he only had two dogs left.


But maybe officials at Ebro should have paid more attention to the dogs in Williams’ care.  The racetrack considered him a “troublemaker” and told him they would not renew his contract in the spring.


Hess feels that he did his part to protect the dogs because he told all of the trainers that Greyhound Pets of America would take custody of any dog that could not be moved to another track.  And the trainers knew the organization would provide food for the greyhounds, if needed.


From the initial reports, this doesn’t seem like a case of a trainer who was unable to feed or take care of his dogs.  It seems more like a man who was angry and took it out on helpless animals. 


It’s now up to the investigation to determine exactly what happened to these animals during the past five weeks.


Call To Action

Care2 and Animal Action USA have started a petition to be sure Ronnie Williams is brought to justice and the lives of the 20 innocent dogs that died in his care are remembered.  CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION.



Anonymous said...

Well, well, well.
Another horrific story of starved animals and excuses. Starved or burned to death.... there's a lot of this going around, isn't there?

karyn said...

"Also, workers and other trainers at Ebro had reportedly complained over the past several weeks to management at the track that fouls smells were coming from Williams' kennel. No one investigated..."

No one investigated.

There are so many things wrong with what happened from management not taking responsibility to the bigger picture of the state not making management take responsibility, not investigating a seasonal track that closed, monitoring kennel operators as to the whereabouts of their dogs.

Complaints for the past several weeks. Where was management?

Florida has 13 race tracks, some seasonal. The state better get a handle on what every kennel operator is doing with these dogs after they race and account for them.

To find out how you can help, please visit GREY2K USA dot org.

michael said...

Greyhound racing trainers should be responsible with their dogs. It is their job and responsibility to take care of them inside or outside the racetrack.
greyhound care

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