by Max Brantley
I got a note overnight from a Hot Springs woman who's followed closely the raid on what authorities called a puppy mill in Garland County. More than 170 dogs, many in terrible shape, were taken into custody Nov. 7 by humane society workers and charges were filed against the owner.
My correspondent had bought a dog from the kennel. Expecting a purebred Pomeranian, she learned it was a mixed breed (poodle, collie, sheepdog) and had her own legal dispute with the kennel operator in small claims court. She tells me that the kennel owner, Pam Thomas, formally gave up ownership to the dogs yesterday in Garland District Court, a move that will facilitate the animals' eventually placement in homes. She says the ASPCA has spent more than $175,000 already in care. Trial for the kennel owner on animal abuse charges was set for Jan. 31, she said.
Happy story about the mutt my correspondent bought: Rather than take her money back and turn the dog back to Thomas, she kept the dog. "Our Tazz just had his first birthday on the 21st. He was really excited with his new toys," she writes.