Alpha Tex Kennels - 260 dogs seized, and now the owners want them back!

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dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Mon Oct 24, '11 12:53pm PST 
http://www.myfoxlubbock.com/mostpopular/story/Mark-and-Sandra-Smith- Floydada-Texas/yEKKtn9ghkSLHQRqoP5R3A.cspx

The owners of Alpha Tex Kennels in Lockney asked for a jury trial following a complaint of bad conditions, and the seizure of more than 200 dogs at their facility.

Floyd County Sheriff, Paul Raissez, was the only one to take the stand. His report alleged that animals at Alpha Tex were in danger of cruelty and living in filth.

Attorney Paul Holloway defended the Smiths' operation. Holloway said there wasn't substantial evidence to seize the 231 dogs at the kennel in late September.

After hearing both sides, Justice of the Peace Tali Jackson ruled the case will be tried before a jury.

West Texas Humane Society Volunteer, Mary Hatfield, reacted to the decision. "I don't know, it's fair that way. We're willing to be fair and up-forth with everything," Hatfield said.

Owners of Alpha Tex Kennels, Mark and Sandra Smith, declined comment.

"Their comments are the same as mine. We'll try our case in court," Holloway said.

Until then, the seized dogs are being cared for at foster homes across Texas. A date for the jury trial has not been determined.

David Guinn is a local defense attorney with no connection to the case. He says the specifics will come out in trial, but he personally is concerned about the statute that this case is based upon.

"People involved in a criminal enterprise, or drug dealers, fraudsters, Bernie Madoff ... have more rights than these people do and that's what should scare us. We usually don't pay attention because the law has a good purpose. It's to protect animals whether its a cute cuddly puppy or a two thousand pound cow. We like animals so we wanna protect them. So we don't think about it but it's these people's livelihood, and (the statute) is basically putting them out of business on a warrant that is based on nothing but inclusions and to seize what they did."

Sandra smith has previously told FOX 34 that her facility is run the right way and every single dog and puppy is AKC registered and up to date on all shots.


This is especially salient to me as a friend had told me one of her clients (she trains dogs) had a GSD puppy from this kennel when it was still in operation. cry I'd looked at their kennel page at the time (now not online anymore) and thought them a very poor large-scale BYB, but never did I think they were this large with so many dogs...

As the news is now reporting, the owners actually have no charges pending against them, only that the dogs have been confiscated and that's what they're in court about - to get them back.

And it's so incredibly infuriating that the commenting attorney has made it seem like "oh poor owners, we've taken away their livelihood and that's not right"... confusedconfusedconfused

I want to say to urge your legislatures by letter to pass tougher animal welfare laws, but I feel really hopeless about how helpful that would be.

What can be done about this? This is just so sad and so heartbreaking.... cry

ETA: here is more information about the conditions of the kennel:
http://www.myplainview.com/news/article_f15bc80a-ebc1-11e0- 9b98-001cc4c002e0.html

Apparently, it was inspected by the AKC in August and only recommended minor detail work on the pens.... eekeekcrycrycrycrycry

Edited by author Mon Oct 24, '11 12:55pm PST


I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Mon Oct 24, '11 1:04pm PST 
It's sad for the dogs, that's for sure.

I share your eek that they were recently inspected by the AKC at all, nevermind passed with minor infractions. I wish that organization would make their focus more about protecting the health of dogs in the US...and less about protecting those that pay them fees.
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Mon Oct 24, '11 5:45pm PST 
How can someone have 260 dogs and take care of them "the right way"?

The only thing people with 260 dogs can do is give MAYBE minimum coverage. Food, water, shelter.

But adequately taking care of 260 dogs on a daily basis? Yeah right!

I'm surprised there are no laws regarding the number of dogs allowed in that sense. I'm not talking limit 2 or 3. I'm talking like draw the line at 50.

What is the thing that gets me is while dogs are technically property, they are not the same as a chair or a couch. So, the "business" of selling dogs, in my opinion, can NOT be looked at the same as any other business. The quality of life should be greatly implemented as more than just food, water and shelter. Being 1 of 260 dogs means you get very limited interaction, stimulation and just general fun. That is a horrible life. That is a horrible business.

1 minute of attention to each dog eats up 4 and a half hours!

Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Mon Oct 24, '11 7:05pm PST 
IF we have 40 dogs in our kennel we have FOUR full time employees working. I cannot imagine 260!!!

I want to play!
Barked: Mon Oct 24, '11 10:24pm PST 
Disgusting amount of dogs no way a person can provide the care that many dog needs they would need a whole staff of people to walk, train, and socialize them etc..

I hope the owner doesn't get any back.

dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Mon Oct 24, '11 10:42pm PST 
I believe from some reports at the time of seizure there were close to 20 litters of GSDs on the ground at this 'kennel'...cry

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Tue Oct 25, '11 6:27am PST 
Toto: "IF we have 40 dogs in our kennel we have FOUR full time employees working. I cannot imagine 260!!!"

Good point. 10-1 is a nice ratio. When I handled for racing kennels, we sometimes had upwards of 20 dogs per kennel employee. You got assigned a wing, top and bottom. Hollered at if we spent too much time on any one dog. I can just imagine 260 dogs in enclosures. 20 litters on the ground at one time! Egads. eek No way they're getting any interaction, they're lucky two people can even do the feeding rounds, if two was their number of owners/employees...Never mind cleaning...
Winnie Mae

Just let me jump- it!
Barked: Tue Oct 25, '11 6:54pm PST 

In our paper a few years ago, there was an article about a "horse trainer". He charged a butload to "train" someone's horse for six months to a year. During this time, the owner was not allowed to see the horse, and the horse was on the man's property.

He was busted with at least 40 half-dead, mostly-starved horses on a dirt patch, and nearly that same amount of dead carcasses.

Humanity disgusts me.

Dunlop-named for- the rider not- the tyer
Barked: Tue Nov 8, '11 3:31am PST 
Please don't tell me they gave the dogs back? Can they ban those people from owning animals again?

dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 9:43am PST 
Trial date hasn't been set yet as of yesterday..

The defense cites that they have resulted in "at least $200 thousand in losses to his clients' business." eek confusedconfused

"The trial that will determine if a Floyd County breeding facility will regain custody of around 260 dogs has been set back. Originally scheduled for October 3rd, the trial had been postponed to give the owners of Alpha Tex Kennels time to prepare a defense. If on October 13th a judge decides not to return custody to the breeders, rights to the animals will be handed over to rescue groups.

Mark and Sandra Smith, the owners of Alpha Tex Kennels, say their breeding stock got out of had after Mark had foot surgery earlier this year. Although the house pets were in exemplary condition, several dogs from the kennels were put down by a veterinarian due to advanced diseases or birth defects, as well as one malnourished horse with advanced injuries. The Smiths maintain that the horse was scheduled to be put down later that week.

Humane Society of West Texas Public Relations Volunteer Debra Avery says she hopes those involved realize this case is a sensitive one. “To the Smiths, we were taking away their pets, their babies,” she said. “Even in the face of the animals’ condition, we must keep that in mind.” Avery went on to express that approaching the issue with calm, open negotiations will yield better results for the animals. She says she believes the Humane Society is not only there to support animals, but to help educate and support those in the community involved with caring for those animals. “It’s the way I’ve been raised,” she said.

Although a calm approach is key, one can’t help but feel disturbed when testimonials are given. “The smell was overpowering,” Avery rasped. Her voice was hoarse from breathing in the fumes emanating from the kennels. “It just comes down to, they had too many dogs.” Other macabre images of puppies overcome with mange, bones of deceased animals mixed in with sewage and dogs with scabbed over wounds stirred the bellies of even the toughest volunteers. Images of the horse that was put down are distressing, easily comparable to the condition of Holocaust victims, and certainly not the case of four or five months of light neglect.

When 40 or so German Shepherds arrived from the facility at the Humane Society of West Texas Thursday, it was difficult to fathom how a situation could get so out of hand. Some had chunks missing from their ears and all were in desperate need of thorough grooming. Some were strangely proportioned, under weight, or too small. They certainty weren’t the picture of an AKC standard german shepherd, and although the Smiths insisted the problem began recently, most dogs appeared to be at least two years old.

Not all dogs made it to Lubbock. Several dogs had to be euthanized, including two puppies who were already showing advanced signs of hip dysplasia, an indication of poor breeding practices. Avery says she believes the number of dogs requiring euthanasia would have been much higher if they hadn’t gotten there that day. Several puppies were saved only in the nick of time, and other dogs required medication for intestinal parasites and other diseases. Avery says they are still waiting for results on heartworms and other diseases requiring more thorough tests.

As the trial approaches, the Humane Society in Lubbock continues to fight for the well being of the dogs. “We’re running a marathon, not a sprint. These dogs are in need more than a few days of attention, they need a full, long-term commitment,” says Avery. And that’s something the Humane Society of West Texas says they’ll do for the dogs, assuming the judge grants them custody. Applications are currently being taken for foster families. Because of the dogs sensitive and unsocialized nature, they won’t be placed in just any home. “They need to be someone’s baby, to be snuggled and hugged on and talked to. They can’t just be stuck in a back yard and forgotten.”

If you are interested in helping the Humane Society absorb this massive undertaking, you can contact volunteer Linda Cox at 806-466–6644 or wlinda1939@att.net to submit a foster application. Wal-Mart Gas gift cards are also needed. Fence pickets are also needed for foster home yard repairs. Keep checking KFYO.com for updates on donation needs. For more information on the Humane Society of West Texas,"

http://kfyo.com/alpha-tex-kennels-trial-set-back-rescued- dogs-future-unknown-pics/

Edited by author Thu Nov 10, '11 9:49am PST

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