March 22, 2010

Department of Agriculture Removes Over 50 Dogs at Unlicensed Facility in Stone County

Total Dogs Rescued by State Department Tops 3200 since launch of Operation Bark Alert in 2009

Acting on a tip from Operation Bark Alert, Missouri's crack down on unlicensed breeders in the state, the Missouri Department of Agriculture's animal care team today took action to protect over 50 dogs living in unsanitary conditions in Stone County. The dogs, mostly Dachshunds, Great Pyrenees, terriers and mix breeds, lacked adequate sanitary living conditions, veterinary care, food and clean water at an unlicensed facility near Hurley, Mo. The Department of Agriculture's Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA) program worked with the Stone County Sheriff's Department to execute a warrant to take possession of the animals. The dogs have been transported to a humane shelter in St. Louis to receive care and shelter.

"The rescue today is yet another example why we must remain vigilant in cracking down on unlicensed dog breeders in this state. These dogs have been removed from filthy, unhealthy conditions and now will receive the proper food and medical care they need," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "Unlicensed breeders such as this one in Stone County continue to put the health and welfare of animals at risk and our legitimate professional licensed pet breeders at a competitive disadvantage. Missouri has led the nation in licensing professional breeders and now we are leading the nation in cracking down on unlicensed breeders."

Since the launch of Operation Bark Alert in Jan. 2009, ACFA has taken enforcement actions on substandard facilities in Missouri, resulting in over 3200 dogs rescued.

The Department of Agriculture requires any animal shelter, pound or dog pound, boarding kennel, commercial kennel, contract kennel, pet shop, exhibition facility, dealer or commercial breeder to be licensed and inspected annually. The Department of Agriculture routinely works with local Sheriff's departments and not-for-profit organizations to rescue animals from substandard facilities.

To help Missouri locate and crack down on unlicensed breeders, visit