October 23, 2008 - Working in cooperation with the Howell County Sheriff’s Department, a team from the Rescues and Investigations Division of the Humane Society of Missouri is rescuing 67 dogs and puppies and 6 cats from a breeding facility near West Plains in Howell County in south central Missouri.
Acting on a tip from a concerned citizen, the Howell County Sheriff’s Department requested assistance from the Humane Society of Missouri to investigate the situation and recommend appropriate action. An independent veterinarian determined that, with the exception of four dogs, all of the animals on the property should be removed due to their poor condition and lack of adequate food, water and shelter. Many of the dogs appear very thin and emaciated. Some have severe mange and other skin infections, matted coats, and flea infestation due to lack of proper veterinary care. The animals have no visible access to food or water and no access to shelter. Until earlier this year when the owners allowed their license to lapse, the facility had been licensed by the State of Missouri as a commercial breeding operation.
Among the rescued dogs are Golden Retrievers, Sharpeis, Pugs, Japanese Chins and mixes of those breeds. One Chihuahua and three Doberman Pinchers will remain on the property. A disposition hearing to determine custody of the rescued dogs and cats will be held at 2:30 p.m., November 3 at the Howell County Courthouse in West Plains, Mo.
“Once again, we are very saddened to see owners of a Missouri breeding facility fail to provide adequate food, water, shelter and veterinary care as mandated by Missouri statutes,” said Tim Rickey, director of Rescues and Investigations for the Humane Society of Missouri. “Of course, it’s these pitiful dogs and cats that suffer. We are very fortunate that the Humane Society of Missouri has the expertise and resources to rescue and care for them so they can have the second chance they very much deserve.”
Rickey added, “We sincerely appreciate the willingness of the Howell County Sheriff’s Department and Prosecuting Attorney to work with us on behalf of the best interests of the animals in their county.”
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The Rescues and Investigations Division of the Humane Society of Missouri is the only animal welfare agency in the state that responds to reports of animal cruelty and abuse throughout Missouri.