New developments in the Ebro greyhound case raises more questions - Death count could be at least 40, with 5 others critical

By: Amber Southard Email
By: Amber Southard Email

Panama City Beach - There are new developments in a horrifying story that Newschannel 7 brought you exclusively last Friday night.

Walton and Washington county sheriff's officials are now working together the case of a greyhound owner accused of killing at least 32 of his own dogs.

At 11:30 last night Walton County sheriff's officials received a call from animal control regarding the decomposing bodies of eight more greyhounds.

The dead animals were located under the highway 20 bridge on the Walton County side of the Choctawhatchee River just west of Ebro..

Walton County sheriff's officials believe the discovery is linked to the case involving Ronny Williams, the dog owner who's facing more than 30 counts of felony animal abuse.

Williams was arrested last Friday night after authorities first found at least 20 dead dogs in his kennel at Ebro Greyhound Park.

At this point, investigators say they don't know if the dogs discovered today are part of the original group or additional victims.

Ebro Greyhound Park Assistant General Manager Mark Hess says the track did not know about the animal abuse.

"This is the first Ebro has heard about it and we're astounded just shocked that this could happen," said Hess.

Ebro officials say they contracted with Williams to race greyhounds during the season, which ended about a month ago.

Under the agreement Williams and the other owners at the park, were supposed to find adoptive homes for their dogs, or move them to another track that still races.

Hess says that Ronald Williams blamed the smell of the decaying animals on rotting meat in a broken freezer.

Ebro officials became suspicious when seven dogs were returned to them underweight. When the track is not conducting races, Ebro officials do not check on the dogs.

Since this is the first year Ebro has not held racing year round, Hess says there is no off season policy.

"During that time period we didn't have any policy's in place to randomly check the kennels because we weren't racing live and that's something we are going to re-visit and try to redo our policy's and make sure it never happens again," said Hess.

Authorities found five dogs alive in the kennel Williams was using. They've been turned over the Hess' staff at Ebro and are doing much better.

Williams is facing 37 counts of felony animal cruelty so far..

Washington County Sheriff's officials have yet to comment on Monday's discovery of the 8 dead dogs by the river.

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