|Greyhound Protection League
MASS GRAVE OF FLORIDA GREYHOUNDS DISCOVERED ON ALABAMA DOG FARM
May 22, 2002 - BALDWIN COUNTY AUTHORITIES SAY THAT 2000 TO 3000 RACE DOGS WERE SHOT IN A KILL FOR HIRE OPERATION THAT SERVICED FLORIDA'S DOG RACING INDUSTRY.
Lillian, Alabama - A complaint from an industry insider led investigators from Baldwin County and Florida's Department of Pari-mutuel Wagering to a dog farm in Lillian owned by Robert Rhodes who admitted that he had been killing unprofitable greyhounds for years. Rhodes, a long time breeder and trainer provided this service for $10 a head to greyhound owners and trainers from as far away as West Palm Beach, as well as, to local dog men in the Florida Panhandle region. Baldwin County District Attorney David Whetstone described the grisly crime scene as a "Dachau for dogs."
"The mass killing of race dogs is common place in the world of greyhound racing," said Greyhound Protection League (GPL) Founder, Susan Netboy. "Typically the dogs simply disappear into back-woods operations like the one in Lillian; in industry jargon, it's known as "going back to the farm" and serves as a public relations tool to provide a vague explanation as to the whereabouts of greyhounds that aren't adopted."
GPL intends to press for a full-scale investigation into the recent scandal. The organization suspects that a large number of racing people are complicit in running a kill operation of this size and of such long duration. "We intend to find out who consigned the dogs to such a brutal death, who drove the kill trucks and who 'looked the other way,'" said Florida GPL representative Janet Skinner. "All of the guilty parties need to be held accountable."
The Greyhound Protection League is a national greyhound advocacy organization based in California. GPL has uncovered and investigated dozens of industry related abuses since the organization started monitoring the racing industry in 1991. According to GPL estimates, as many as 20,000 racing greyhounds are killed every year nationwide.