HSMO’s Animal Cruelty Task Force Conducts Three Rescue Operations in One Day in Rural Missouri – Recovering 22 Animals

Today, the Humane Society of Missouri’s (HSMO) Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT) conducted two rescue operations in Pettis County and one in New Madrid County, rescuing 22 animals from inhumane conditions in record-breaking heat.

The Pettis County rescues took place in Sedalia, MO and in both cases, ACT assisted the Pettis County Sherriff’s Office on carrying out warrants authorized by the Pettis County Circuit Court. In the first of these rescues, ACT recovered 5 dogs in varying conditions. One of the rescued dogs is severely emaciated, with a Body Condition Score (BCS) of 1, visible ribs, and anemic symptoms. It was immediately evident that these dogs had been victims of severe neglect and were dangerously undernourished.

In the second Pettis County rescue, ACT rescued 8 dogs and 8 cats from inhumane conditions in a Sedalia home and its surrounding property. The property’s residents were recently arrested on suspicion of animal neglect, and upon arrival ACT found a horrendously unsafe and unsanitary environment. The dogs were filthy and underweight, a clear indicator of the neglect they had endured. Six of the cats had been housed in a mobile home with no ventilation and dangerously hot temperatures. The cats were heat-stressed, filthy, and flea-bitten, with some of them suffering severe facial and optical injuries. Four of the younger kittens had to have fluids administered and investigators noted it was doubtful the kittens would have survived much longer in that environment.

The third operation took place in New Madrid County, where an ACT officer, in conjunction with the New Madrid County Sheriff’s Office, rescued a single emaciated dog from inhumane conditions on the property of a neglectful owner.

All of the animals have been brought to HSMO’s St. Louis City headquarters where they will receive professional and compassionate veterinary care and rehabilitation. A disposition hearing for the New Madrid case is scheduled for July 11th, and hearings for the two Pettis County cases will be scheduled some time in the next 30 days. HSMO hopes to be granted full formal custody of the rescued animals at these hearings. If granted custody, HSMO expects to make these animals available for adoption once they have recuperated.

“The appalling conditions that these poor animals endured, especially in this oppressive heat, are deplorable and inexcusable.” said HSMO President Kathy Warnick. “The welfare and rehabilitation of animals in need continues to be our top priority and we’re extremely thankful for our partnerships with local law enforcement that allow us to give animals like these a second chance at a brighter future.”

To report an animal who may be in danger or is suffering from neglect or abuse, call the local police and the Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314-647-4400.