EBRO, Fla. (AP) - The number of dogs found dead at a Panhandle greyhound race track has risen to 37, and some were found with duct tape around their necks, according to arrest reports filed at the Washington County Courthouse.
At least 20 dogs were initially reported dead in the kennel at the Ebro Greyhound Park last week. The dogs' trainer, Ronald Williams, faces animal cruelty charges. He was being held Friday at the Washington County jail on $74,000 bail. It was unclear whether he was being represented by an attorney.
Sheriff's deputy Steve Russ initially could not enter the kennel because the stench was overwhelming, he wrote in one of the reports.
Russ and an official with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation were examining the kennel. During their
investigation, Williams arrived in a blue GMC truck, Russ wrote.
Williams told them that the dogs were all fine when he had checked on them two days earlier, and he added that he believed the kennel's air conditioner had broken and caused the animals' deaths, according to Russ' report.
Williams also said he split his time between Ebro and a kennel he owned in Mobile, Ala., Russ wrote.
When an officer with a breathing device walked through the kennel, dead dogs were found in cages and plastic bags and five dogs were still alive, according to the reports.
Three of the living dogs had duct tape wrapped around their necks. "The tape was tight enough the dogs could barely breathe," Russ wrote.
Some of the dead dogs also had tape wrapped around their necks, according to another report written by Sgt. Wade Boan.
Necropsies are planned to determine what killed the 37 dogs found dead in the kennel, said Chief Assistant State Attorney Greg Wilson.
The investigation at the Ebro park began after a local greyhound adoption group alerted authorities that Williams had brought in eight underweight dogs on Oct. 25.
Wilson said more charges are expected against Williams.