The overlords do just fine by themselves thankyewverymuch. What we mean to say is they run a tight ship. There are rules, you know? Protect the units...er...dogs; weed out the bad apples, stuff like that. You want to mistreat your dogs, or cut corners? Well, overlord don't play that homie. Pack your bags 'cause you're gone. Right Ursula O'Donnell?
A woman arrested on felony charges for helping kill more than 2,000 greyhounds from all over the state has been training racing dogs again in Florida as recently as last week.Right. 'Cause noting is more important than the safety and well being of the dogs. The overlords go to great lengths to see that anyone who doesn't treat them humanely and professionally is...wait a minute...what did you say?
Ursula O'Donnell was charged with felony animal cruelty in November 2002 after allegedly hiring an Alabama man to shoot and bury greyhounds under her care.Oh. Uh...erm...yeah...look there has to be a simple explanation. The industry would never allow cruelty like this to go unpunished. After all, the dogs are like family. Well, family that you abandon when they can't make you anymore money, but still, maybe family like in laws, yeah something like that.
O'Donnell denied knowledge of the operation at the time -- she claimed her employees sent dogs to Rhodes without her knowing.Ah, there you go. This poor lady was the victim of heartless, criminal employees. She's caught in the middle and guilty only of being too trusting. Here she thought everyone loved the dogs as much as she did, only to find out there are evil people in the world. Can you even imagine the pain she felt, the sorrow, the despair when she realized her beloved dogs had been sent to such a cruel fate when she thought they had all been adopted by a reclusive millionaire?
A criminal investigation by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation found a check written by O'Donnell to Rhodes for $230, dated just before Rhodes' arrest. Using Rhodes' standard pricing, that was the fee for the execution of 23 dogs.See? It wasn't like...uh...she didn't...ah...in her defense, Rhodes killed over 1000 dogs, so 23 is like...well...she wasn't...er...it's not like...OK we're going to have to get back to you on that.
You'd think such a thing would preclude an individual from working with greyhounds ever again, but as of the start of this year, O'Donnell was listed as the "trainer of record" for Free Spirit Kennel, which races dogs at the Naples-Fort Myers Track and Entertainment Center. That means that O'Donnell is personally responsible for the welfare of 50 to 75 dogs.Hey, come on. We're trying to give you the benefit of the doubt here, overlords. Work with us, will you?
Then, around January 10, about the same time the track was notified about a current investigation, Ursula was no longer listed as the trainer of record for Free Spirit Kennel.The Naples track is owned by the Miami-based Havenick family. "This was just brought to our attention," Izzy Havenick said. "She never worked for us in any way, shape, or form. All of the kennels are owned and operated completely independently. But as soon as we found out, we asked the kennel to make the change, and they did."Bam! Right on! See animal rights wackos, the system works. You cut corners and put the dogs in any kind of jeopardy and you're history, you're yesterday's news, it's hasta la vista baby! Now will you get your Birkenstock wearing, Chai tea drinking, premium dog food buying noses out of our business?
Free Spirit Kennel's new trainer of record is Ryan O'Donnell.Aww crap. We're trying to help you out here. Throw us a bone, will you Izzy?
Havenick said he never met Ursula or Ryan O'Donnell and doesn't know what their relationship is.Yeah. You own the track but you don't know who works there. Come on, you can do better than that.
"O'Donnell is a very common name in dog racing," Havenick said.Alllll righty then. That's your story and you're sticking to it. Hey look over there, it's Kristi...uh...O'Donnell and she's looking for a home.
Kristi is shy and reserved. She will start to play by herself, but if something goes flying – she will scurry away. She enjoys playing with the family dogs in the yard. She is generally quiet, submissive, and easygoing. She runs very fast in the yard. Kristi would do well in a working family home with well-mannered older children, ages 10 and up. She is shy, so she would benefit with another dog in the home. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.
Lazlo Update: He is learning his manners and “no”. He is doing well in the foster home.