Puppy Mill Law Enforced for First Time; 70 Dogs Taken from Missouri Breeder

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click to enlarge The dogs rescued lived among rodent droppings. Old and sick dogs had been shot to death.
The dogs rescued lived among rodent droppings. Old and sick dogs had been shot to death.
Inspectors from the Missouri Department of Agriculture today removed more than 70 dogs from a Monett-based breeder in the first-ever enforcement of the state's new Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.

Violations of the law identified during inspections of the Moser Kennel included standing water and mud in kennels, standing water in dog houses, inadequate veterinary care, damaged fencing, trash accumulation and weed growth, failure to provide clean drinking water for animals and the presence of rodent droppings.

The facility was also cited for using gunshot as a means of euthanasia, a method which is not approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association or permissible under Missouri regulations.

Prior to the rescue, Moser Kennel surrendered its Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA) license to operate as a commercial breeding facility. Today's actions followed violations identified in recent inspections directly affecting animal health and welfare and subsequent action taken by the Missouri Attorney General under the Animal Care Facilities Act and the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.

This spring the Missouri General Assembly drafted The Canine Cruelty Prevention Act after gutting a stricter dog-breeding law that voters had passed last November. Governor Jay Nixon signed the Act, also known as the Missouri Solution, into law in late April.

Today Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, credited the new law with helping his agency take a bite out of unlawful breeders. "There is more work to be done -- and now more resources to help," he said in a statement. "This cooperation among our animal care program, the Humane Society of Missouri and Attorney General Koster will help us increase rescues and prosecutions and continue to strengthen the breeding industry in Missouri."

The Humane Society of Missouri, Lawrence County Sheriff's Department and the Missouri Attorney General's office assisted the agriculture department in today's rescue. Dogs removed from the Monett facility were of of varying breeds, and include Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, American Eskimos, Poodles, Beagles, Papillons and Brussels Griffons. The dogs will soon be placed with the Humane Society of Missouri for adoption.
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