Doctor loses custody of 139 collies - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Doctor loses custody of 139 collies

Courtesy KVUE

COMBALL, Texas – There are new disturbing details in the case of a Tomball area optometrist accused of hoarding more than 100 collies.

Volunteers returned on Thursday afternoon and seized 19 more collies and seven cats.

That brings the total number of collies to 139 now in the custody of Houston Collie Rescue.

It all began back on Friday after a judge signed an order allowing the rescue group to remove the dogs from the home of Dr. Elaine Kmiec.

"She's using aliases to creep on established collie rescue groups," said Vickey Willard with Houston Collie Rescue.

Animal activists allege Kmiec has been using four aliases to collect collies wherever she can.

She admitted in federal court on Thursday to lying during her previous court appearance. Kmiec originally testified she had only 35 dogs.

"She needs help. That's the key here," said volunteer Frank Poti.

Volunteers describe the conditions at Kmiec's home as "filthy beyond belief." Neighbors who live in the Tomball area community have been pitching in.

"You see these people working themselves to death. So finally they said, 'Can you help?' We said yes" explained neighbor Cody Harris.

Harris was among the neighbors who was willing to get his hands dirty and help carry out dogs. Others have been donating and lending whatever they can, including a large horse trailer used to transport the animals.

"It's such a sad situation. Why would you not want to participate?," asked neighbor Melissa Stanton.

Kmiec's attorney has requested to be removed from the case, he cited, because of failure to communicate with his client and conflict of interest, according to court documents.

He had purchased a rescue collie and has donated to the charity, in the past.

The 139 collies are now on the mend at an undisclosed location.

Houston Collie Rescue said it has spent $37,000 nursing the dogs back to health, and it expects to spend much more.

One hundred people have already signed up to give the dogs new homes.

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