OREGON COUNTY, Mo. — Seventeen dogs were removed from an unlicensed breeder in southern Missouri Tuesday after living in "substandard" conditions, the Humane Society of Missouri said.
The dogs that were taken from the property in Oregon County were mostly Australian Shepherds, Australian Terriers and other "designer mixes," the HSMO said in a news release.
“This is truly a horrendous case of animal cruelty, and the work that the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Attorney General’s office has done to help us secure these animals has been nothing short of outstanding,” said Kathy Warnick, HSMO president. “These putrid, inhumane conditions are a sad reality for many animals in the possession of an irresponsible breeder and we’ll continue to fight for, rescue and rehabilitate these abused animals while promoting animal welfare legislation in our community.”
The dogs are receiving veterinary care at HSMO's site in St. Louis. They may be available for adoption once they are healthy.
The breeder was first brought to the attention of HSMO by the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA), the release said. The breeder previously agreed to give up custody of more than 80 dogs but before MDA arrived to claim the dogs at the property, the breeder had already transferred 60 dogs to third parties and euthanized 21.
After the 17 dogs were taken Tuesday, the breeder was left with three dogs at the property.
To report an animal who may be in danger or is suffering from neglect or abuse, you are asked to contact your local law enforcement agency and the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314-647-4400.