U.S. District Judge David Jones signed an order Friday allowing Houston Collie Rescue to remove dogs from the property of Dr. Elaine Kmiec, an optometrist.
On Friday morning, Jones asked the group's president, Vickey Willard, if the organization was able to take on 35 dogs.
"That's what she claimed she had," Willard said Saturday. "When we left, there were 90-plus dogs, including two pregnant females. We're still counting today."
It took about eight hours to get all the dogs out, because volunteers kept finding more tucked away on the property, she said.
"Every time I got a batch out, I'd go back deeper," she said. "It kept going on and on. I didn't think we'd ever get them all."
Many were in deplorable condition, but none died during the seizure, Willard said. Among the maladies she noticed were ear infections, demodectic mange, overgrown nails, "hot spots" due to fleas and the smell of urine in their coats.
There were puddles of urine inside the house, creating an odor that lingered on the dogs and on the volunteers who handled them, she said.
The order signed by the judge Friday also noted that Kmiec had failed to meet her responsibilities as a debtor under bankruptcy law.
"Most egregious is the fact that her actions (en)danger the lives of 35 animals who cannot speak or protect themselves," the order stated. "The court cannot condone the use of the bankruptcy process to inflict harm on undeserving creatures."
Kmiec also had dozens of dogs seized from her property in 2006 and 2007, Willard said.
The collies rescued Friday are to remain in Houston Collie Rescue's custody until further notice, Jones' order stated. The organization is to provide the court a report on the exact number of dogs seized, their general condition and any other notable information.
Willard said the 90-some dogs are together in an appropriate facility under the care of experienced volunteers and will receive needed veterinary treatment. Financial donations can be made through the group's Paypal account on its website or by mail at Houston Collie Rescue, P.O. Box 526, Stafford, TX 77497-0526.
(Houston Chronicle - Aug 30 2014)