Jurors are expected to make a decision today concerning the fate of the Alpha Tex dogs that were seized from a kennel near Lockney.
Testimony continued on Friday with Mark Smith, one of the kennel owners, taking the stand. Multiple times during the defense's questioning Mark choked up and began to cry as he talked about the dogs.
He told jurors he was "heartbroken" when he found out three of his dogs were euthanized the day of the seizure on September 28th. He says one of the dogs, Morgan, was kicked by a horse earlier in the year, breaking the dog's leg. Mark said he took the dog to the vet and a pin was put in Morgan's leg, and that she was getting better.
Mark began to cry when he told jurors Morgan was euthanized without him knowing. He also gave explanations for the other two that were euthanized without his permission. One was a collie who appeared to have mange with much of its hair gone. However the dog had a thyroid problem – not mange. The other was a puppy whose leg was injured after running through a fence. Mark said that puppy was also getting better.
Month by month, the defense drew a timeline of events starting from January of 2011 to the day the dogs were seized on September 28th. Attorney Paul Holloway pointed out Mark was injured in April and it progressively got worse over the months resulting in surgeries, and Mark not being able to work as much with the kennels. On August 30th an AKC inspector came to inspect the kennels. Those inspections are done randomly with little notice for the owners to make big changes.
In mid-September a woman visited the kennels to buy a dog. She testified today, saying she called the Smiths, and on that same day with little notice visited the kennels to take a look around before buying a puppy. She told jurors the kennels looked fine and the Smiths were very knowledgeable about every single dog on their property.
Around 1 p.m. the State's attorney Donald Feare will begin questioning Mark. We'll continue to bring you the latest details as we get them.
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