January 9, 2012 ~ Remembrance ~

After experiencing a great loss, I have come to some conclusions that for many just might seem preposterous yet, my reality of life that I face everyday is not what I was raised to believe as the basic of all principles of what we are entitled to as US citizens; in fact, to the contrary.

Living a rather normal life, as a law abiding citizen within in the parameters that the law provides should give you certain rights that the Constitution provides. Apparently, owning even one animal, could place you in jeopardy of loosing life (as we are accustom), liberty and our rights to  pursue our happiness. This is what we have come to understand and believe after having moved to our new home two years ago today. We had no idea that on January 24, 2010, just how making the decision to move to Marion County, Texas for the protection of our lives and the ownership of our animals would in fact, become the worse decision ever…who knew!?! We did not!!!

Texas has a rather high rate of animal seizures that does nothing for the benefit of animals or its citizens. Instead, animals are placed in harms way by the mishandling of them by people claiming to be for rescue and often murdered or die as a result of such intrusion on them and their owners. I have been following one such animal seizure that occurred a few months back that was just as unlawful and without reason. My post today is dedicated to the victims, both the animals and the owners of Alpha Tex Kennels, the Smith family.


Assisting AlphaTex Kennel Owners

On September 28, 2011, Mark and Sandra Smiths’ world changed forever as they were surrounded by men in SWAT uniforms and bearing assault rifles. The Smiths were ordered not to use the phone (to call an attorney or anyone else) and to keep their hands where the officers could see them. They watched helplessly as their property (196 high quality, champion bred German Shepherd, Collie, and Golden Retriever dogs) was seized under force of arms. The Sheriff who facilitated the taking of the Smiths’ property, Sheriff Paul Raissez, incredibly struck a deal with the Smiths that if the Smiths allowed the Sheriff to take pet supplies that would assist in the taking of said property, he would allow them to retain custody and control of their house dogs. The taking of the pet supplies was coerced under force of arms and threat of taking the Smiths house dogs and was NOT covered by the warrant.

Prior to the seizure, a member of the group known as the Humane Society of West Texas decided he wanted to inspect the Smiths property. The Humane Society of West Texas (HSWT) and its members do not have police powers nor are they employed as animal cruelty officers. The HSWT volunteer contacted Sheriff Raissez regarding his desire to perform an inspection he had no legal right to perform, and the sheriff facilitated the forcible inspection of the Smiths’ property by the HSWT volunteer. The HSWT then proceeded to recruit volunteers through the news media and the Internet before the seizure ever took place.

Sheriff Raissez proceeded to allow KCBD news onto the Smiths’ property to film the seizure as he mugged for the cameras and mocked the Smiths on television. Sheriff Raissez also called a local veterinarian, Dr Paul Glasson, and asked him to come to the Smith property. He arrived and euthanized a horse which the Smiths were going to have euthanized the next day, and also summarily killed three dogs. The dogs which were killed were all under the care of another veterinarian. One dog was believed by the Sheriff and HSWT volunteers to have mange; however, the dog actually had a thyroid condition which was being treated. Dr. Glasson later admitted that the dog in fact did not have mange and instead of consulting with the veterinarian who was actually treating the dogs he just decided he would kill them. Mange resolves itself in 90% of cases; the remaining 10% require treatment. In any case summarily killing a dog with mange without any testing into the dog’s general state of health is irresponsible and unnecessary.

The Smiths had been certified as an AKC approved kennel. Their most recent inspection occurred on August 30, 2011, less than 30 days before the forcible seizure of the Smiths’ dogs.

Questionable animal seizures have been taking place in Texas for years, as shown by this expose by John Stossel for ABC News in 2005. Additional commentary on the piece can be found here and here.

David Guinn, a Lubbock attorney with no connection to the case, has this to say about the Texas statutes:

“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.”

The rest of the story from which the above quote is taken can be found here.
[The rest of the story from FOX news: http://www.myfoxlubbock.com/mostpopular/story/Mark-and-Sandra-Smith-Floydada-Texas/yEKKtn9ghkSLHQRqoP5R3A.cspx ]

The Smiths are currently suing the Sheriff, the HSWT, the media, Floyd County, and the Attorney Pro Tem for the County. For details and full text of the lawsuit, see our links page. This should be a very important issue to all animal owners in Texas!

We would like to have more rights than “people involved in a criminal enterprise, drug dealers, fraudsters, and Bernie Madoff.” If you would too, please go here and find out how to help. (How you can help: http://justiceforalphatex.weebly.com/how-to-help.html )

How To Help

Jessica Casenave is a young lawyer assisting Paul Holloway in representing the Smiths, owners of AlphaTex Kennels. Contributions to fund the case against Floyd County, TX (and in support of all owners and their rights) can be sent to: Jessica@caprocklawyer.com through PayPal.com Please send contributions through as a “gift” and note AlphaTex on them.

Small donations do add up so please don’t hesitate to help even if you can only afford to make a small contribution.

These cases are expensive; well beyond the means of just about any individual. As usual, the attorneys are trying to cover OUT OF POCKET costs and aren’t ensured they will be paid at all for their services. For all our sakes, we NEED to contribute and help put a stop to these summary proceedings that deprive owners of their most fundamental rights and property.

Legal process can be slow but we’re beginning to make a dent. The animal owners and lawyers need to hear from us both in voice and dollars. Freedom is never free.

The owners of AlphaTex dared to speak out, to use their free speech to defend our rights. That is something we should all be able to do without fear that our property, our animals, will be seized and summarily forfeited to the government to be given to strangers who will profit greatly from them.

If you can’t afford to make a contribution, PLEASE share this page widely.
Please make a contribution and share this information WILDLY!!!

It is extremely important that as US citizens, we do everything possible for the protection of our civil liberty rights which includes ownership of animals and to be protected by the law rather than to be brutally attacked and trampled by the system with which we live. The abuse of any citizen is also abusing you and your rights!!!

Rather than this being a celebration of the anniversary of our arrival to what was to be our new home,  we continue to mourn our loss and light a candle in remembrance of the animals that lost from what was to be their ‘sanctuary’ and the ones murdered, abused, and died in the process.
If all you can do to help the Smiths is to send one dollar, or willing to give up the price of one cup of coffee, then do it and share this message.
Thank you!!!

Stay tuned…BEST -B

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~ by topcatsroar on January 9, 2012.

3 Responses to “January 9, 2012 ~ Remembrance ~”

  1. “Another illegal, brutal and unwarranted kennel seizure — complete with unnecessary killing of some of the animals ON SITE the SAME DAY. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse than them being stolen, removed from the property and killed before the owners even got a day in court! Now they’re killing them right there. I cannot possibly articulate how horrified I am about what this country is coming to. It’s insane, on pretty much every front that matters. It breaks my heart.”-CW

  2. TX seems h*ll bent on criminalizing animal ownership. All of those who rejoiced when this illegal raid was done & took some of the dogs for “rescue & foster” beware, you may be next. Look at the writing on the wall, your legal rights are being trampled & you too could end up in their sights. Then you will cry “what have I done?” And the very people you joined in with to vilify the Smiths, the same people you joined in with on fb to post “hate” messages, the very same people you trusted, will be the ones who will help to crucify you. And when that happens, who will you ask for help?

  3. http://myplainview.com/news/article_6adeb89a-3956-11e1-b087-001871e3ce6c.html

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