The city of Tomball, Texas bills itself as "The Hometown with a Heart" and its motto is "Tomball, Texan for Fun," but this Harris County city in the Houston metropolitan area hasn't been a fun place for collies and one dog owner seems to have been heartless. The federal court awarded Houston Collie Rescue 93 collies from a Tomball property as part of the proceedings in a bankruptcy case.
The city of 10,753 get its name from a local congressman--Thomas Henry Ball, changing its name from Peck in 1907. It is located on the edge of the Houston. Poor Tom Ball would probably be mortified to see his name being associated with animal neglect.
The Houston Chronicle reported that the dogs were taken from the property of optometrist Elaine Kmiec . The seizure of the dogs was the result of a bankruptcy filing. U.S. District Judge David Jones signed the order on Friday after asking the rescue's president Vickey Willard if the organization could take possession of about 35 dogs.
As the rescue began to extract the dogs from the property, the numbers went well past 35. None of the dogs died during the seizure, but the 92 dogs included two pregnant bitches. Dogs were suffering from ear infections, demodectic mange, overgrown nails, and balding hot spot areas on their coats from undetermined conditions.
Court documents signed by the judge noted that Kmiec had not upheld her responsibilities as a debtor to the court, particularly in the case of the dogs.
"The court cannot condone the use of the bankruptcy process to inflict harm on undeserving creatures."
The judge, however, was unaware that the 35 dogs Kmiec claimed to own were actually 93. That's a lot of dogs for one rescue to intake in one weekend.
Vickey Willard said in a brief phone interview Sunday morning before she headed out to Camp Collie that what is most needed now is monetary donations. The grooming has already started, but they need money for medications--the dogs need to be vaccinated against canine parvovirus, canine distemper, canine bordetella, and rabies. The supplies are being lined up and inquiries have been made to local veterinarians to administer the vaccinations.
"People are wanting to donate food, but that not needed, because we'd need someone to pick up and transport," she explained. She urged people to save the cost on transport, shipping and handling and just donate the money.
On the Houston Collie Rescue Facebook page, one person reported that dead dogs from the property had been left at the side of the road. The Houston Chronicle reported that dogs have previously been seized from the property in 2006 and 2007. At one time, Kmiec has shown dogs. In 2004, she is listed as the owner of a bitch that placed Rough Reserve Winners Bitch at the Collie Club of San Antonio show (18 January 2004) under judge Ron McGee. The dog, Mamus Minute By Minute (Am/Bred) was bred by Ronald and Marcia Keller from their champions Mamus Golden Ruler and Mamus Day by Day.
Kmiec is listed as owning the U.S. Champion dog Timeless Illustrious Warrior (27 April 1999), a sable and white smooth dog from Mamus Golden Ruler (rough) and Oak Knoll's Timeless Reflection. Kmiec also owned the champion smooth sable Timeless Calvin Klein (born 20 June 1997) out of Twin Acres Dark and Dashing and Oak Knoll's Timeless Reflection.
Houston Collie Rescue will be instrumental in building up a court case and so everything has to be documented. Because the dogs are evidence in a court case, much needs to be done by many different agencies before the dogs can be adopted.
Donations to the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity can be made through Paypal or via regular mail.
Houston Collie Rescue
P.O. Box 526
Stafford, TX 77497