FWAC SEIZURE - July 8, 2010

Calling all Fort Worth Residents & GALT Supporters - Take Action!

Update - June 1, 2011

Susie McQuade, GALT Board of Director, and Yolanda Eisenstein, GALT's lawyer, met with Fort Worth prosecutors Lisa Herrick and Tracey Kapsidelis on May 27, 2011 to discuss the James Gude animal cruelty case. Ms. Herrick is the lead prosecutor. The purpose of the meeting was to offer our assistance and learn the status of the case.

In May, Mr. Gude's attorney was given more time to prepare so there is no movement on the case at this time. Ms. Herrick expects the case to go to trial or get resolved through a plea bargain by the end of the year, although it is still early.

Mr. Gude has been charged with separate three Class A Misdemeanors in the deaths of Martin, Rachael, and Pudge. The punishment for one misdemeanor is a fine of up to $4,000, up to a year in jail, or both. He could receive any combination of punishments if found guilty. He may also seek a plea bargain.

We plan to closely follow the case. At this time we are waiting for Mr. Gude's attorney to take the next step in his client's defense.

We will keep you updated on the status of the case. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Yolanda ( or Susie (

GALT continues to encourage letters be written to:

Joe Shannon, Jr.
Fort Worth District Attorney
401 W. Belknap, Fort Worth, TX 76196
Lisa Herrick and Tracey Kapsidelis
401 W. Belknap, Fort Worth, TX 76196
Frank Moss
District 5 Representative
1000 Throckmorton, Fort Worth, TX 76102

Letters to the Ft. Worth Star Telegram editor are also encouraged

Update - April 26, 2011

In the July FWAC case, we have learned that the Fort Worth District Attorney's office has filed three misdemeanor charges against the perpetrator for intentionally or knowingly depriving the dogs of food, water or shelter. Sadly, these charges are not the most serious he could have faced. The three charges are for his treatment of Martin, Rachel, and Pudge - all of whom died.

In terms of jail time, the maximum sentence he could receive would be a year for each offense. However, jail time is not a given. One situation we need to pay attention to is a plea bargain. His lawyer could negotiate a plea, and he could receive little or no punishment.

While we feel that the perpetrator of this abuse should be punished for all 28 dogs that suffered, we need to look ahead and focus on the existing charges. Please help keep pressure on the DA's office by calling and writing letters asking for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. Make your voices heard for Pudge, Rachel, Martin and the other 25 abused and horribly mistreated hounds that survived this ordeal.

The following communication was sent out on April 22, 2011 by Yolanda Eisenstein, attorney representing GALT in the FWAC seizure of July 8, 2010. If you are a GALT supporter and/or a resident of Tarrant County, or have family, friends or co-workers who live there, please "Take Action" as described below:

Dear GALT member,

As you probably remember, around July 8, 2010, Fort Worth Animal Control seized 28 dogs, mostly greyhounds, at a Fort Worth residence. The dogs were in horrific condition due to abuse and neglect. Here is a link to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article covering the seizure.

As of today, April 22, 2011, almost a year later, no charges have been filed against the owner of these dogs. GALT has followed this case diligently and I recently began working with them to attempt to learn why. Three weeks ago, Tracey Kapsidelis, the attorney working on the case, told me that misdemeanor charges were being filed. I thought progress had finally been made. As of Monday, April 18, the clerk's office had nothing on record. I cannot get an update from Ms. Kapsidelis and have been unable determine why there are further delays.

As residents of Fort Worth and animal advocates, we are asking you to take action. Please write a letter to your district attorney, Joe Shannon, asking why no charges have been filed. If a misdemeanor charge is being filed, what is taking so long? While I personally believe stronger charges are in order given the suffering of these animals, anything would be better than nothing.

Joe Shannon, Jr., Fort Worth District Attorney
401 W. Belknap
Fort Worth, TX 76196

Also, contact Frank Moss, District 5 Representative. Ask him why almost a year has passed without holding the abuser accountable.

Frank Moss
District 5 Representative
1000 Throckmorton
Fort Worth, TX 76102

Also, consider drafting a letter to the Fort Worth Star Telegram editor indicating your displeasure and disappointment in Fort Worth that nothing has happened, at least not publicly, after almost a year. The abuser may already have new dogs.

Below are a few points you may want to make. Feel free to use them, but of course your letter will be much more effective when in your own words. While you should be upset over the fact that charges have yet to be filed, please refrain from personal attacks. It is not clear at this point why nothing has been done. Our job is to get answers and push for action.

  • This was a horrific case of abuse and neglect. One of the veterinarians who treated the dogs commented that the condition of the dogs was one of the most appalling sights he had ever seen in his 30 years of practice.

  • Animal cruelty is a crime, not an option - you are simply asking for enforcement of the law or an explanation as to why no charges have been filed.

  • The District Attorney is an elected official charged with enforcing the law. Most citizens want a strong commitment to prosecuting animal cruelty. While the government has to prove its case, it is difficult to imagine a more blatant case of abuse and neglect.

  • Animal cruelty is not just about animals. There is a link between animal cruelty and humane abuse. Statistics show that this abuser is likely to commit crimes against humans, if he hasn't already.

  • Failure to prosecute animal cruelty sends a message to animal control, law enforcement, the citizens, and to the abuser that it is not important.

  • Animal cruelty degrades neighborhoods - Neighbors who see animal suffering day in and day out and know their cities won't act on it feel helpless. Helplessness can lead to frustration and a sense of despair.

Thank you for taking action. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Yolanda Eisenstein
Animal Law
Eisenstein Law Office
1999 McKinney Avenue #2006
Dallas, TX 75201
Tel: 214-749-0101