Tomball woman accused of hoarding collies appears in bankruptcy court

HOUSTON – Elaine Kmiec, the woman who the Houston Collie Rescue group seized 97 collies from, faced Judge David Jones in bankruptcy court Thursday morning.

Her attorney had 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.

In court, Kmiec admitted to lying under oath in a previous court appearance when she stated she had only 35 dogs in her care. She admitted to keeping dogs at her father's residence, and now having those at her residence after the rescue group had finished taking the initial 97.

At one point, Jones became frustrated with Kmiec and threatened to have her arrested if she continued to lie under oath. The president of the Houston Collie Rescue group testified during the bankruptcy hearing and described the deplorable conditions that were found when they visited Kmiec's Tomball residence.

Jones ordered another seizure of the remaining dogs on Thursday by the Houston Collie Rescue and commended them for their efforts.

Kmiec had an initial lawsuit with Kara Kaufman, who had previously sold three collies to Kmiec in 2013.

Court documents describe how Kmiec used the name of Shiela Kopman to enter into the contract, to mask that she was the subject of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation. That investigation resulted in her turning over more than 50 collies to authorities several years ago.

When Kaufman learned of this fraud, she sued Kmiec seeking return of her dogs.

During the hearing, Jones asked the US Trustee to immediately take control of Kmiec's property and all bank accounts.


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