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Missouri Humane Society saves 7 terriers from one of worst dog breeders in the country Tuesday

The Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force saved seven dogs Tuesday. The terriers were taken from the facility of a formerly licensed breeder.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Mo. — One of the nation’s largest animal rescue and disaster response teams saved seven dogs Tuesday morning from a former dog breeder in Douglas County, Missouri.

According to a press release, the Humane Society of Missouri’s (HSMO) Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT) took mostly terriers from the breeder. Five males and two females of varying terrier breeds were saved. 

Several of the rescued animals are suffering from cuts and other health issues. The dogs will need to be rehabilitated and socialized. 

“The breeder, who had been cited multiple violations in the past, was previously included on the national “Horrible 100” list…ranking of the worst dog breeders in the country,” according to the release. 

The rescue came right after Marilyn Shepherd, who operated breeding businesses in the state under various names, was found guilty of criminal contempt for violating a 2021 consent agreement.

RELATED: 42 dogs rescued from 'Horrible 100' puppy breeder in southern Missouri

“Shepherd revealed in court that, in the weeks leading up to her trial, she had sold all puppies in her care,” according to the release. 

The Douglas County Circuit Court ordered the immediate removal of the remaining seven adult dogs from Shepherd’s property and imposed a $9,500 penalty. 

The woman was only allowed to keep one dog as a personal pet.

She was arrested and may face criminal penalties related to animal mistreatment. 

The HSMO has been rescuing dogs from her for about 25 years. 

Tuesday's rescue marks the second time in less than a year that the HSMO’s Task Force has been called to Shepherd’s property to rescue animals, according to the release. 

“Marilyn Shepherd is a repeat offender who has a long history of animal mistreatment and breeding violations that stretches back decades,” Kathy Warnick, HSMO President said. “We are grateful to the Missouri Department of Agriculture and Attorney General Schmitt’s office for their persistent work to stay on top of bad breeders who violate the law and trap helpless animals in a cycle of abuse and neglect.”

“The animals rescued today were kept in conditions that caused them great emotional stress and physical suffering,” Warnick said. “Now that these animals are safe, our focus turns to providing them with the care and rehabilitation they need so they can find loving, forever homes.”

The rescue was conducted in coordination with the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Missouri Attorney General’s office

To help the dogs recover and donate, call 314-951-1542 or click here

To report an animal that 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. 

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