Terri, like many other dog owners, thought she was doing the right thing. Her 11-month-old Pomsky puppy was overwhelmed with the company of Terri’s other dogs. She decided to return Scooby to the care of her breeders, Lisa and Israel Moyet, in Hollywood, Florida. With rising temperatures and increasing delays, Terri didn’t like the idea of flying Scooby. She concluded that her only other option was a dog transportation service.
Terri (who asked to be referred to by her first name only) chose CitizenShipper, an online company that connects shippers with couriers and provides pet transportation services. The shipping department quickly connected her with a courier who the company said was a Bronx man named Isaiah Gonzalez.
However, when Scooby was picked up from Terri’s residence on June 20, a woman showed up on her doorstep.
The woman said her name was TJ Terri took her in, giving her food and drink, and allowing her other dogs – three mastiffs and a French bulldog – to meet their guest.
“She was very friendly, well-spoken, she didn’t do anything to arouse my spider senses,” Terri said. “The only thing I found odd was his U-Haul.”
According to Terri, the U-Haul smelled like urine. TJ told Terri that she usually stays in the U-Haul with the dogs during overnight stops in transit.
TJ stayed in touch with Terri throughout the early stages of the transport, even sending Scooby photo updates. Then on the morning of June 22, Scooby’s expected arrival, all communications stopped.
Terri attempted to contact who TJ believed was her sender for the company, a woman named Taylor. There was no response from TJ or Taylor. After several searches on Facebook, Terri realized what was going on.
TJ’s real name was Tiara Alsaid, there were several Facebook posts discussing her services. Customers of his services claimed that Alsaid either failed to deliver the dogs or delivered them in severely neglected conditions.
Alsaid was arrested at The Woodlands on August 30 by Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies for animal cruelty and theft.
This morning, Alsaid, who remained in the Montgomery County Jail, is scheduled to appear for his hearing to get an attorney.
“When you read their [CitizenShipper] ad, it says they do background checks and stuff, so that’s what I thought I was paying them for,” Terri said.
The Houston Press contacted CitizenShipper regarding the courier change but did not receive a response.
Terri paid CitizenShipper $116 for these security services. She was supposed to pay Alsaid $450 in total for the transportation services, but only paid him $154.50 up front. Terri had told Alsaid she would provide the rest after Scooby arrived safely.
Terri was finally contacted around 2 a.m. on June 23, by Lisa Moyet, one of the breeders taking Scooby. It was dropped off at its destination, dead and already decomposing in its crate.
“Immediately the breeders where he was dropped off called me,” Terri said. “They told me Scooby was dead and I told them to call the police.”
Terri called everyone she knew. She contacted CitizenShippers, the Broward County Police Department in Florida, and the Houston Police Department.
According to Sgt. Jason Smith of Montgomery County Constables Office Precinct 2, sheriff’s deputies checked Alsaid’s U-Haul plates and arrested her once they confirmed the vehicle was listed as stolen.
Deputies conducted a routine inspection of the stolen vehicles, finding four dogs in the back of the U-Haul covered in feces, urine and no food or water.
“Our main goal was to make sure the dogs were cared for and then try to identify who the dogs belonged to,” Smith said.
According to Terri, Smith contacted her within days of Alsaid’s arrest. He had found a bottle of Scooby’s pills with his name on it. Terri agreed to help with the investigation.
The Montgomery Police Department found multiple complaints reported to the Houston Police Department regarding Alsaid’s dog transportation services. They also discovered anti-drug warrants circulating in Brazos County.
“Our agency had no knowledge of her until she was arrested,” Smith said. “The investigation we are currently reviewing relates to all other instances where she has engaged in this type of behavior.”
Smith has been in active contact with CitizenShipper and several of Alsaid’s transportation service customers. He also passed the information to the IRS Criminal Investigations Division, as Alsaid funded the business through a $20,787 PPP loan granted to him by Cross River Bank in February 2021.
Cross River Bank did not respond when asked to comment on the content or the application process for loan approval.
On the night of the arrest, Alsaid was accompanied by Houston resident Anthony Johnson. Johnson was arrested along with Alsaid for possession of marijuana. According to Smith, the department is reviewing the level of involvement he has had with Alsaid’s affairs. Despite other media reports, it has not been confirmed that Johnson is an employee of Alsaid.
“We don’t know exactly what his official relationship with her is yet,” Smith said. “I think it will probably be several months before we finish this case.”
Investigators have identified three of the dogs’ owners. The county has the last dog because authorities were unable to determine the owner. If the fourth dog is not moved, he will go to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter in hopes that he will be matched with an adoptive family.
Other people affected by Alsaid’s services still have questions. Dyaisha Jordan, a resident of Palmetto, Florida, still doesn’t have her Malinois-German Belgian Shepherd, Blackie. After finding all the information about Alsaid’s activities, she contacted the shelter several times. Blackie was not registered by the shelter’s relocation services.
“It’s just a question that we don’t have a solution for,” Jordan said. “We hope he will be moved to the shelter, but we still don’t know if he is even dead or alive.”