Missouri’s Animal Care Facility Program regulates breeders, dealers, boarders, shelters and pet stores to ensure that they meet state standards regarding feed, water, shelter, veterinary care, building maintenance, socialization, identification and recordkeeping requirements.

The Animal Care Facility Program currently has 2,100 total licensees (which includes breeding kennels, boarding kennels, shelters, dealers and pet stores).

Since 2009, animal health officers have taken steps to investigate allegations of unlicensed facilities through the dedication of field staff and public participation in Operation Bark Alert.

The Animal Care Facility Program is staffed by fourteen field staff and two field veterinarians located throughout the state that balance their schedule with routine inspections, investigation of complaints, inquiries into unlicensed facilities and educating licensees and the public on animal husbandry expectations under the animal care program.

Regulatory standards are defined under 2 CSR 30-9.010 through 2 CSR 30-9.030. Animal Care Facility staff meet throughout the year for policy and training sessions to ensure that the regulations are strictly interpreted and fairly and consistently enforced.

Operation Bark Alert

Operation Bark Alert began in 2009 and is a program which allows the general public to report unlicensed facilities. Operation Bark Alert offers an online link, allowing the public to submit information for investigation by field staff. The program investigates credible reports to ensure compliance under state code.

Commercial Breeders

Missouri’s Animal Care Program regulates commercial breeders that enter dogs or cats into commerce. All commercial breeders are licensed and inspected at least once a year by animal care inspectors. More...

Blue Ribbon Breeder Program

The Blue Ribbon Breeder Program contributes to the improvement of kennels and catteries that are already in good standing with the state. Kennels and catteries with favorable inspection histories are allowed to apply for Blue Ribbon status, provided that they meet the additional requirements. Continuing education is accessible to all licensees, whether or not they aspire to be a Blue Ribbon facility. Blue Ribbon puppies and kittens must be permanently identified and originate from these outstanding facilities.

Pet Friendly Spay and Neuter Funding

Funds for pet spay and neuter programs are also administered through the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Donations from the sale of “I’m Pet Friendly” specialty license plates generate the grant money awarded by a three-member panel. Those grants are then distributed to selected agencies for their efforts to help reduce the number of unwanted animals through local and regional spay and neuter initiatives.

Grant applications for the “I’m Pet Friendly” License Plate Spay and Neuter Grants (mo.gov) are accepted from January 1 through February 28 of each year. The number of applications and funding available varies from year to year, and so organizations are encouraged to apply whether or not they were awarded grant(s) in the past.

Puppy Protection Trust Fund

The Puppy Protection Trust Fund was created to provide Missourians an avenue to donate directly to Canine Cruelty Prevention Act (CCPA) enforcement and education efforts. In 2011, the CCPA created rule enhancements for large-scale dog breeders, including continuous access to water, facility upgrades, space requirements that greatly exceed federal requirements and hands-on veterinary examinations for all adult dogs covered under the Act. The Puppy Protection Trust Fund is protected by law as a dedicated fund for carrying out the requirements of the CCPA and ensuring that breeders meet Missouri’s higher standards. The fund is supported by a tax refund check-off option for Missouri residents that allows both individuals and corporations to donate $1 or more from their tax returns.

Requests for information and contributions may be made at any time directly to:
Missouri Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 630
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0630
(573) 751-3076