Dog Kennel Looks for Restoration in Lawsuit

Dog Kennel Looks for Restoration in Lawsuit

Two years after being targeted by an animal cruelty raid, owners of a Lockney kennel are looking for retribution as Mark, Sandra and Kory Smith have filed a lawsuit against Floyd County and the West Texas Humane Society claiming that the raid that initially seized 200 dogs was illegal and unconstitutional.

Representatives of the formerly family-owned business of Alpha Tex Kennels filed the suit Tuesday, Sept. 24, in the U.S. District Court in Lubbock.

The motion seeks unspecified damages to be determined at trial; statements in the suit also mention damages of nearly $200,000 for disruption of the Smith’s dog-breeding business, which raised German shepherds, golden retrievers and collies before the raid.

The Smith family is now operating under West Texas K-9 Kennels and breed German shepherds.

The suit also names Floyd County Sheriff Paul Raissez, Humane Society Executive Director Mary Hatfield and several Humane Society volunteers who were present in the September 2011 raid at the Smiths’ home a few miles west Lockney.

Raissez said he couldn’t comment on the suit as it was currently being handled by a federal attorney, Matt Matsler.

Hatfield also chose not to comment.

The Smiths’ suit is contending a raid on their kennels in 2011. After a trial in Floyd County deemed that dogs at the Alpha Tex were subject to cruel treatment, appeals eventually moved the trial to Canyon, where a six-person jury ruled that the dogs were not mistreated, suggesting that the sheriff’s department, humane society and the media had projected conditions worse than they really were.

Now the Smiths are looking to recoup losses as the suit insists that the raid was conducted illegally, that Raissez failed to keep a record of impounded dogs and that Texas law used to authorize the raid was unconstitutional.

Raissez obtained the court authorization for the raid on the grounds the dogs were being cruelly treated. The Floyd County justice of the peace at the time then OK’d the seizure, with the dogs being placed under the care of the Lubbock-based West Texas Humane Society.

After the Randall County jury ruled in favor of the Smiths, the kennel said Raissez only returned 107 of the seized dogs.

At a later contempt hearing, Raissez admitted that he was 89 dogs short and testified that 17 of the dogs could not be accounted for.

According to the lawsuit filed Tuesday, the minimum value of the dogs when seized was $189,000, and some of the seized dogs already were under various contracts to be sold.


They dogs disappeared ~Poof and the rescuers allow the deputy to take the fall///they disappeared with the dogs…Look under a rock at the West Texas Humane Society!!!

Best wishes to the Smiths and their attorneys!!!

Disclaimer connected to the this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinion of others…Stay tuned  -B

~ by topcatsroar on September 29, 2013.

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