Local attorney Nancy Lord is demanding the return of the dogs that were removed from her property after a court approved removing three dozen animals on Tuesday.
Lord filed an emergency motion to order the immediate return of her animals.
The action follows a two-year battle between Lord and several of her neighbors living in the area near Pechstein Street and Blagg Road who say the attorney’s dogs routinely run loose in the neighborhood.
Residents say they can’t take walks through their own neighborhood without fear of being accosted by the dogs, some of which run in packs up to 12 or more dogs.
On Wednesday, Lord said she does understand why her neighbors are upset.
“I do understand that the neighbors are upset. I understand people want to be able to walk around and not have dogs running at them. But after three years, if these people don’t know by now that the animals are harmless, that is what I don’t understand,” she said.
Local ordinances dictate that residents who own more than five dogs or cats over the age of six months on any given property must obtain a residential kennel permit, while anyone with more than 10 dogs or cats over the age of six months must obtain a commercial kennel permit.
Lord said she chose not to secure a permit because the she felt uncomfortable with some of the stipulations contained within.
“It wasn’t a matter of the cost for the permits. The problem was that a commercial permit allows them to come in and search my home and property once a year. I am not going to accept a law that requires someone who was doing something that they’ve been doing before the law passed, to suddenly have to go out and get a permit that allows a search of their home,” she said.
Additionally, Lord explained how she ended up with several dozen dogs in the first place.
She said a few unplanned pregnancies eventually snowballed.
“There was a couple of accidental pregnancies and kept all of the litters. We had some issues with re-homing partially because we had an accusation by animal control that this was a puppy mill, so we stopped advertising for re-homing and simply took care of the dogs that were produced. We never intended to be breeders, but we did the right thing,” she said.
Though Lord said some of the dogs have been neutered and spayed, there have been a few instances of inbreeding on the property.
“It certainly was not on purpose, but some of the best dogs are inbred. If fact, all of the breeds started with inbreeding. The Texas Blue Lacy came about after two dogs accidentally bred and it is now the state dog of Texas. The good breeders do it because you’re able to see what’s in the bloodlines, but again, we didn’t do any of this on purpose,” she said.
Lord also mentioned the condition of the interior of her home where some of the dogs were kept to help keep them from running out of the yard.
Animal control officials were overheard saying the living areas of the home were covered in feces and urine and the smell was nearly unbearable.
“This was because of what happened. To try to move with this many dogs with no notice at all, of course your house is going to be in shambles. I didn’t let them out because we were afraid they were going to get out. We were keeping them in so that we could get them into a truck and move them. Obviously things got a little messed up,” she said.
Lord said she only has five dogs in her possession as the rest were hauled away by animal control officials this week.
She is looking to get an accurate count of the dogs now at the animal shelter.
“They never gave us an inventory,” she said.
Though many of the adults in the area would just like Lord to keep her dogs secured, the lawyer said some of the children in the neighborhood actually love her dogs.
“There were like four children who love my dogs and they always come out to pet and play with them. Three of them were in the area when this raid took place. They told a 12 year-old girl to leave the area or she would be arrested. There was also a young boy who watched the whole thing take place from the top of a trailer and saw them carry away 1-year-old puppies with nooses around their necks,” she said.
When and if Lord gets her dogs back, she said she is leaving Nye County.