Sunday, October 3, 2010

Puppy Mill Bust in Greene County Missouri

On September 21, 2010, the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force worked in cooperation with the Greene County, Missouri, Sheriff's Department to rescue 45 dogs from a commercial breeding facility near Republic, MO.  The dogs were  living in unsanitary and unsafe conditions.

According to the HSMO, the animals included Schnauzers, Boxers, Miniature Pinchers, and Boster Terrier dogs.  A USDA inspection report issued in April 2010 cited 12 pages of violations for this facility including inappropriate, inadequate, unsafe and unsanitary housing for the dogs; smashed feces in the mesh flooring of some enclosures indicating lack of daily cleaning; and clutter, trash and animal waste throughout the facility.

Recently a citizen purchased a puppy from this facility. A veterinarian examined the dog and determined it would need extensive veterinary care. The incident was reported to the Greene County Sheriff’s Department which subsequently obtained a warrant to arrest the owner for operating a commercial dog breeding facility without a license and to inspect the property. The warrant was served this morning. Upon the recommendation of two independent veterinarians to remove the animals, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department requested the assistance of the HSMO Animal Cruelty Task Force. Conditions found on the property today include: dogs living in cages filled with feces and urine soaked bedding; filthy water bowls covered with algae; mold in the food; and inappropriate, unsafe caging.

Previously this year, the owner of this facility was charged with animal abuse in Newton County for abandoning a breeding facility in that county and leaving animals behind with no food or water resulting in the starvation and death of some of the dogs. Newton County placed the surviving dogs with a local animal shelter.

The dogs rescued from Greene County will be taken to the Humane Society of Missouri’s Headquarters shelter in St. Louis City for triage and care. The animals will remain in the custody of the Humane Society of Missouri until the disposition hearing.  If custody of the animals is awarded to the Humane Society of Missouri, as many of them as possible will be made available for adoption.

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