The Floyd County Sheriff's Office seized approximately 300 large breed dogs from the Alpha Tex Kennels six miles outside of Lockney in Floyd county on Wednesday, saying the dogs were neglected in poor living conditions.
Deputies served the owners of the kennel, Sandra and Mark Smith, with a warrant to remove the dogs after they refused to hand them over. "I've been raising and showing quality German Shepherds for 40 years," said Sandra. "This is not a puppy mill situation. Yes it outgrew us, it outgrew us in a big way."
Several law enforcement officials allowed dozens of Humane Society of West Texas volunteers to remove the hundreds of dogs including German Shepherds, Collies, Labs and Retrievers – all of which the owners say are AKC registered.
Sandra says the kennels first started to get out of hand in April after her husband Mark had several foot surgeries. "All of this is temporary. It can be corrected," she said. "This is way too extreme."
Against Sandra's pleas to keep the dogs, volunteers spent hours scouring the large buildings, each housing dozens of dogs and puppies. Feces covered the floors, water bowls dirty, and flies covering their food – many volunteers were forced to wear masks because of the overwhelming smell that permeated the kennels.
"I can't believe people could ignore things like that. This is so tough to look at, so tough to see," said Mary Hatfield with the Humane Society. "It is a monumental job. Thank goodness there are people really dedicated to getting this done."
At one point during the seizure of the dogs, Sandra began to argue with Sheriff Paul Raissez. "Do you see a skinny dog out here…any of the dogs out here?" she asked raising her voice. "Have you seen the water? I would take a cup and go dip it in some of that water and see if you would drink it," replied Raissez. "Well it's not a matter of whether I would drink it," said Sandra.
Beside the dogs, the Sheriff's Office also seized at least one horse that was seriously injured. The Mustang's back leg was swollen with a gaping wound almost exposing the bone. "What I've seen out here is not good," said the Sheriff. "It's getting out of hand and out of control."
No charges have been filed, but the Smith's will go to court on October 3rd to fight to get the dogs back.
The Humane Society is asking for the community's help with the dog rescue. They are in need of monetary and supply donations as well as foster families willing to take in some of the dogs. If you would like to help (click here) or visit the Humane Society's Facebook page by (clicking here).
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