Disability as a result of a toe amputation surgery left Mark Smith with some challenges in the day-to-day upkeep of his family-run kennel. Mounting medical bills made life difficult for the Smith family. A soft economy had hurt sales recently and helped to swell the numbers of Collies, Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers at the Smith's AlphaTex Kennels, based in Texas.
The Smiths had all their dogs seized. The evidence for the warrant? Video of a limping puppy. Less-than-perfectly clean conditions were found when the Humane Society of West Texas entered the premises.
Well, not exactly.
When the Humane Society of West Texas entered the property to confiscate the dogs, they killed the puppy that was featured on the video. Reason for the limp? The pup had injured it's leg after tangling with a fence and was recovering. He was due to be adopted by one of the kennel's former employees. Instead of having a chance at a full and happy life, the puppy is now dead.
The "Humane" Society also killed an adult Collie that day, claiming "mange"...in reality, she had hypothyroidism. Coat loss is a common side effect of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is fully treatable and should not be a death warrant for anyone, man or animal. Come to think of it, mange is also a treatable condition. Makes a handy excuse to kill, though.
Another dog had previously been kicked by a horse, suffered a broken leg, and Mark had sought veterinary care. The vet had put a pin in her leg. She was improving. Improving, that is, until the "humane" society raided the premises and decided to kill her that day.
The Smiths did not give permission to the Humane Society of West Texas to kill any of their dogs, or to take and farm them out to foster homes across the state of Texas. But that's exactly what happened.
A litter of eight puppies was taken into custody. Great! They would get proper veterinary care and attention. Right?
Wrong again. Under the "loving" care of the Humane Society veterinarian, seven of the eight puppies subsequently died of parvo.
With adequate veterinary care and IV hydration/nutrition, the death rate from parvo is very low; certainly nowhere near the 88% from this litter that perished.
Unless, of course, you are a veterinarian employed by the state-sponsored raiders, who, once in court, will try to deflect the blame for the deaths onto the breeder.
The prosecuting attorney presented only limited evidence that seemed to be extremely biased. It must have seemed that way to the jury as well, because they threw out all the charges. All the dogs are now slated for return to the Smiths.
The jury was instructed by the judge that they could assess each case of cruelty individually. The jury still found no evidence of cruelty.
No credible evidence that even one dog was abused, neglected or otherwise mistreated.
Except, that is by the Humane Society of West Texas. Unfortunately, they were not the ones on trial.
In typical animal extremist fashion, the prosecuter tried to turn the trial into a referendum on breeding.
"They kept big dogs alive so they could have little dogs to sell"
he stated in court.
So now, the not-so-subtle implication is that SELLING DOGS is a criminal offense. Since when, exactly?
The prosecutor objected to a binder of photos and information showing the conditions and care provided in the kennel over the 18-month period prior to the seizure.
Incredibly, this prosecutor also belongs to a Facebook group devoted to publicly libelling the Smiths. Further proof of the animal rights extremist lynch-mob mentality in this case. Not to mention, a breach of ethics.
But why expect any ethics here? You see, it was never about good care for the dogs, it was always about removing them from a "greedy, evil breeder". At any cost. Hang the consequences.
The defense attorney admitted that conditions were not tip-top in cleanliness, but felt that the Smiths should have been given some sort of warning to improve prior to the situation devolving into a raid.
Obviously, killers don't like to give any advance notice or fair warning.
The lawyers who defended the Smiths did so on a pro bono basis, and there is a federal case pending. PLEASE dog lovers, dog breeders, and dog owners, dig into your pocketbooks and send a donation via Paypal to:
Next time you may need someone to help get YOUR dogs back.
Or maybe, just maybe, these renegade animal raiders will think twice in the future before trampling all over someone's human rights, and nabbing and killing their dogs.