Florida Greyhound Killer Guiltyby Karyn Zoldan on Oct. 22, 2011, under Animal Cruelty, Animal Events, Greyhounds, Serious Saturdays
Perhaps the greyhound community can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that one Florida greyhound kennel operator has to serve 5 years in jail for mass animal cruelty.
While I’m thrilled that he just didn’t get a slap on the wrist like many animal cruelty cases, I am also saddened by knowing that he murdered 37 racing greyhounds by starvation and asphyxiation. Five greyhounds survived.
Among greyhound adopters, advocates, and even racing industry insiders, Ronnie Williams will always be known as the duct tape killer. His blatantly egregious and deliberate deeds call attention to what is so wrong with dog racing – the lack of accountability.
Picture this: The racing season is over. (In some states dog racing is seasonal; unfortunately, not in Tucson where dogs race when it’s 100+ degrees.) Nobody at Ebro Greyhound Park is minding the store. Management says that the kennel operators are responsible for their dogs. Of course, in a perfect world, the kennel operators are responsible for their dogs but dog racing is nowhere near a perfect world.
“Veterinarians who performed the necropsies found the remaining dogs perished from denial of food and water beginning on or near Oct. 1, 2010, and lasting until they were found or had died. Three of the dogs also had duct tape around their necks, suggesting they may not have been able to breathe properly. The dogs perished through absolute starvation.”
–Where is the oversight?
–Are there no security guards walking around?
–Does one kennel operator turn a deaf ear and blind eye to another kennel operator?
–Is there no checklist for monitoring and following up of dogs?
How does one degenerate kill dozens of dogs and nobody notices until it’s too late?
At first Williams tried to plea bargain saying that his family needed him but that went nowhere. Now he pleaded guilty and is sentenced. His racing license has also been revoked.
This ugly case drew worldwide attention, none of it good. Thank you to everyone who wrote letters to the presiding judge and prosecutors, showed up in court, and for the Florida rescue group who took in the surviving dogs.
(Photo is courtesy of Cyndi Rennick of her beautiful heart dog Sweetie Pie.)