Lawyer for Cypress Arrow’s owner releases statement on dog abuse allegations

Claims Tina Frey is “innocent of any claim of animal cruelty” and that RPSO is going “overboard” in its investigation
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 1:44 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:14 PM CDT
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LENA, La. (KALB) - The lawyer representing Cypress Arrow Kennel and K9 Academy’s owner, Tina Frey, has released a statement on the animal abuse allegations surrounding the Lena training facility. In it, Bradley Drell of Gold Weems Bruser Sues & Rundell Law Firm claimed that Frey is “innocent of any claim of animal cruelty” and said the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office is going “overboard” in its investigation surrounding viral videos of dog mistreatment at Cypress Arrow.

Drell stated that on Friday, Aug. 12 he arranged for RPSO to meet with Frey at his office.

“Four deputies interviewed my client for approximately two and a half hours,” Drell shared. “The RPSO was given my client’s cell phone, as well as the cell phones of my client’s boyfriend and her daughter, Victoria Brimer, and they have downloaded all of the contents.”

Drell added that on the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 15, approximately 15 deputies came to Cypress Arrow to execute a search warrant, which is attached below.

“They not only seized leashes, collars, and quirts, but computers, records, including personal financial records, and even my client’s home security recordings that have nothing to do with the kennel,” Drell said. “The scene resembled the FBI at Mar-a-Lago.”

Warrant used to search Cypress Arrow Kennel and K9 Academy in Lena
Warrant used to search Cypress Arrow Kennel and K9 Academy in Lena(Brad Drell)

The search warrant was for two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, which are felony charges. At this time, Frey has not been arrested or charged.

“The message circulating on social media that the Sheriff is somehow sweeping this case under the rug is completely false. Rather, the RPSO has gone overboard on this case, despite the fact that my client has cooperated with them completely since their investigation began,” Drell said in the statement.

Drell also shared information about how the viral videos got to the public, claiming that they were “surreptitiously created by an employee who circulated these videos almost one week after she was terminated from Cypress Arrow on August 4.”

“Revenge for her firing seems to be this former employee’s primary motivation in releasing these videos and in contacting clients of Cypress Arrow,” Drell said.

In the statement, Drell shared that Cypress Arrow was shut down Saturday, Aug. 13 “due to the videos that went viral on the internet,” adding that as of Friday, Aug. 12, only five dogs remained at Cypress Arrow and were either picked up by their owners or taken to a local veterinarian by the weekend.

“We had informed the RPSO of these facts but they did not issue a press release as they indicated that they would,” Drell stated. “The posts on social media that there are still dogs that belong to clients on the premises or that Cypress Arrow is still in operation are completely false.”

The statement then moves on to claims about Cypress Arrow’s owner.

“I want to unequivocally state that Tina Frey has never hurt or injured a dog in her care,” Drell said. “She is a respected dog trainer and is qualified to train other trainers. She is an expert in the Cane Corso breed, and it must be understood that this breed of dog was originally bred by the ancient Romans as army dogs. Weighing over 100 pounds, they have the potential to be very dangerous to human beings if not trained properly.”

Drell then lists instances of Cane Corso dogs being violent, including an incident in California where a dog attacked and killed its owner. Another example from Drell from the United Kingdom states that a Cane Corso “has a bite as strong as a lion” and killed a small child there.

One of the viral videos from Cypress Arrow showed a Cane Corso named Fenixx being pulled from two sides with leashes while she was continuously hit with an object. KALB spoke with Fenixx’s owners, who shared that they “would’ve never said yes” to training like what is shown in the video. In Drell’s statement, he makes specific claims about Fenixx’s treatment, sharing that the video “creates a false impression that dogs are being injured.”

“While the video is disturbing for many to watch, what needs to be understood is that Fenixx at the time was attempting to chew through a leash, which would have allowed Fenixx to bite either Ms. Frey or her daughter,” Drell stated. “Ms. Frey was using the quirt to direct Fenixx away from biting through the leash.”

Drell attached a video to his statement, showing Fenixx’s owners picking the dog up from Cypress Arrow on Friday, Aug. 12, which is attached below.

In it, both Fenixx’s owners and Frey hit themselves with the object used to hit the dog in the video, called a quirt. Drell claims that “while the quirt makes some noise, it is flexible and not painful.”

“While I understand that many people feel, and some quite strongly, that the use of the quirt is not what they would do to correct a dog, the use of the quirt is not inhumane under the law,” Drell said. “Fenixx was in no way injured, as is shown in the video.”

Drell ended the statement insisting that Frey is innocent.

“Tina Frey is innocent of any claim of animal cruelty. No charges have been brought and we await the conclusion of the RPSO investigation. If charges are brought, I will vigorously defend Ms. Frey,” Drell said.

Rapides Parish Sheriff Mark Wood posted the following statement to his Facebook page on Tuesday in response to the investigation:

Sheriff Wood shared this with KALB following the social media post:

“I don’t have the luxury to say things about the case,” he said. “Other people can speculate, they can say I’m doing this, I’m sweeping it under the rug. But, that is not what is happening here. As a police officer, I have to take my time, make sure we get a solid case that I can turn over to the next level, so he can take care of his business.”

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