Greyhound Protection Group Calls for State Investigation After Trainer Is Asked to Leave Naples Dog Track

Jan 22, 2010, 16:59 ET from GREY2K USA

Trainer Was Arrested in 2002 for Conspiracy to Kill Greyhounds by Gunshot

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nation's largest greyhound protection organization today called on state officials to open an investigation to determine whether they have the legal authority to revoke the occupational license of greyhound trainer Ursula O'Donnell.

Earlier this week, O'Donnell was asked by track ownership to leave her position at Naples-Ft. Myers Greyhound Park after they learned of her 2002 arrest on charges of felony animal cruelty and criminal conspiracy.  It was alleged that she conspired with at least three other individuals to transport greyhounds across state lines where they were killed by gunshot.  An alleged co-conspirator, Robert Rhodes, admitted to killing thousands of greyhounds for a $10 fee.

"The state should open an investigation to determine whether they can revoke the license of Ursula O'Donnell," said GREY2K USA executive director Carey Theil.  "Based on the compelling evidence the state assembled during their previous investigation, we do not believe she should be responsible for the health and welfare of greyhounds."

With their complaint, GREY2K USA enclosed the 2002 fugitive warrant for O'Donnell and a check for $230 she apparently provided to Rhodes before they were both arrested.  It was alleged that this check paid for the disposal of greyhounds.  The charges against O'Donnell were dropped after Rhodes died and other witnesses refused to testify against her.

"We recognize that the charges against Ms. O'Donnell were dropped," GREY2K USA General Counsel Christine Dorchak asserts in the complaint.  "However, the fact remains that the Division is in possession of clear evidence that Ms. O'Donnell participated in a conspiracy that led to the deaths of a large number of greyhounds by gunshot."

GREY2K USA is a national, non-profit greyhound protection organization with more than 25,000 supporters in all fifty states.  For more information, contact Carey Theil at 866-247-3925.