Breeder: Tricia Fenton Lyles
Kennel Name: T’s Chi’s Kennel aka Ts Chis Kennel
Address: 119 CR 2214
City, State, Zip: Daingerfield, TX 75638
USDA License: none found
Texas License: 330
Dates and times of CAPS investigations: 11/21/20, 1018; 11/22/20, 1631
Weather at time of investigation: 71°F and sunny; 59°F and partly cloudy
Approximate number of dogs and puppies observed at time of investigation: 15 dogs and 10 puppies (not all dogs on the property were observed)
Breeds: Rottweilers, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, Collies, Dachshunds
The kennel consisted of numerous structures and groups of pens laid out in a disorderly fashion, with no uniform manner to their construction or upkeep. Piles of dog houses, metal poles, fencing, and other kennel supplies were scattered around the yard. Fencing, trash, overgrown brush near dog runs, and tarps covering pens made view of most of the dogs that I could hear barking on the property blocked to me. Pens were arranged in a manner such that even if they were next to each other, it was difficult to discern where one pen ended and another began and they weren’t necessarily the same size or set in a row. Rather, many pens were set in groups near each other throughout the yard.
Pens that I observed had dirt floorings and either chain link or galvanized wire walls. Some had tarps or blankets set over them for partial shade while others did not. Each pen contained a doghouse, that was an igloo-style doghouse, normal style doghouse with a slanted roof, or a plastic container large enough to hold two dogs and with a doorway cut into it. None of the doghouse doorways had windbreaks (3.4. Outdoor housing facilities (b) shelter from the elements (3)).
There were five pens near the center of the southern end of the property closely, with some other pens partially or entirely blocked to my view. The pens were about 10’ wide and long, metal self-feeders. I was able to examine one pen by standing next to it, located at the southeast end of the group. It had two Rottweilers and several days’ worth of feed spilling out of the metal self-feeder onto the floor, as well as a dirty build-up on the side of the feeder where dogs’ heads would contact to eat from it (3.1 Housing facilities, general (c) Surfaces (3) Cleaning). The pens’ flooring had what appeared to be over three days’ worth of feces inside, with little space for the dogs to walk without stepping in it (3.1 Housing facilities, general (c) Surfaces (3) Cleaning).
As I observed the area, two Rottweilers escaped a pen and ran towards me (3.1 Housing facilities, general (a) Structure; construction), eventually stopping as I moved away from them and they were called back to the kennel by Tricia Lyles (Caucasian female, about 55 years old, 5’8″, 135 lbs., with shoulder-length grey hair and glasses) and a kennel worker (Caucasian male, about 20 years old, 5’9”, 170 lbs. with buzzed brown hair). Another pen had a long-haired dog, which appeared to be a Collie, pacing in tight circles in the pen for half a minute at a time. Such behavior stems from continual confinement and a lack of enrichment and exercise (91.106 Standards of Care-Exercise for Dogs).
West of the pens were a row of about five pens on the western end of the property, of similar design to the ones I observed on the south end of the property. Several other smaller pens of similar design were located north of the ones I observed closely, with a row of several dog runs with chain-link walls near them and set against a building at the north end of the kennel. I wasn’t able to look into the pens or examine them closely, but I heard dogs barking from inside them.
The southeast end of the property had a building about 30’ long and 10’ wide, with indoor/outdoor runs visible to me on its southern side, and elevated indoor/outdoor wire cages visible on its eastern side. There were nine runs on the south, with a Chihuahua visible in each of two runs and a Yorkie visible in an eastern run.
These pens had wire walls with wooden frames, and were so dark I couldn’t see the composition of the floors. The eastern cages were partially covered in tarps, making only the southernmost cage visible. The southern runs were about six feet from assorted junk piled up inside the southern fence line. The junk was about 30’ long and five feet wide, consisting of broken and partially chewed dog houses, crates, wash bins, and fencing wire. Weeds about four feet tall grew throughout the trash (3.1 Housing facilities, general (b) Condition and site).
North of the building with indoor/outdoor runs and cages were several outdoor pens with wire walls that appeared to be about four feet tall, and which were covered in tarps so that I couldn’t see how many pens there were or what was inside. However, I heard numerous small dogs barking under the tarps.
I saw about four Yorkies on a fenced wooden porch connected to a trailer at the north end of the property. West of the trailer was an enclosed building with a T’s Chi’s Kennel sign on it. Tricia Lyles was inside, with two Chihuahuas loose in the building, which had a bank of treated wire cages stacked on the western wall. There were three stacks of three cages, each cage about one foot wide, 1.5 feet tall, and three feet long. Metal sheets were under the treated wire floorings to catch feces and urine. Food and water dishes were in the cages, and about five cages each held two puppies of various small breeds including Dachshunds, Yorkies, and Chihuahuas. The top northern cage had a tan Chihuahua puppy, which Lyles fed an orange liquid to from a syringe. She told me the puppy was sick, and added, “We had a touch of giardia, so now she’s on a probiotic after the antibiotic.” I asked if she deal with hypoglycemia with small puppies, and she said that she does and the orange liquid was “glucose stuff” for the Chihuahua.
This breeder is an internet seller. She sells puppies online under https://www.tschiskennel.com/. Puppies are also sold at Canton First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX, and at a store in Bonnie & Clyde Trade Days in Arcadia, LA.
The Animal Welfare Act sets general standards for humane care and treatment of animals who are sold sight unseen (internet sales). Breeders – those with at least five breeding females – who are selling online must have a federal license (2.1 (a) Requirements and application).