Jurors: Dogs not abused, returned to couple

January 24, 2012 12:54:02 PM PST
A jury in the Texas Panhandle has decided that nearly 200 rescued dogs were not abused and should be returned to the owners.

A Randall County jury sided with Mark and Sandra Smith of Lockney, who operate the Alpha Tex Kennel.

The dogs were seized in September. A justice of the peace in Floyd County ruled in the November that the Smiths treated the animals cruelly and must repay nearly $237,000 for the cost of caring for the animals.

Ownership of the dogs was transferred to the Humane Society of West Texas, which placed many of the animals in foster care.

The Smiths appealed, rejecting allegations that the animals were denied clean food, water and shelter. A jury in Canyon on Friday ruled in the couple's favor.

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