Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gruesome Puppy Mill Raided; Owners Flee

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 12:16 PM

  • flickr.com/photos/robhardingii
Animal-lovers with weak stomachs, stop reading now.

An unlicensed dog-breeding farm in south central Missouri got raided last week, authorities have announced. Sounds like a rather sordid affair.

Some 72 animals were evacuated, according to Corporal Mark Chamberlain of the Webster County Sheriff's office and Jeff McRoy of the Humane Society of Missouri. The rogue breeders - a mother and son - are now on the loose.

Tipped off by an anonymous e-mailer claiming the facility's owner had shot nine dogs, Chamberlain and Roy visited the farm on Wednesday.

Here's what they found (as told to the Daily RFT):

- Chicken wire cages, elevated off the ground, each crammed with four or five dogs of various breeds.
- The dogs were living on top of their own moldy feces and animal bones.
- The animal bones had come from a meat-processing plant, and were the only source of nourishment the dogs had gotten since January, the owners admitted. (No dog food was found on the premises)
- No fresh water was available to the animals; some cages had no water at all.
- The mobile home, which had feces on the floor, was housing over thirty dogs, some of them females with litters.
- The dogs didn't look emaciated, but many had matted, greasy coats and a "pungent" odor.
- Some had eye infections. Others had parasites.

Chamberlain and Roy returned on Friday with a warrant, but the mother and son had packed up their dogs and...high-tailed it out of there.

Later that day, the sheriff in neighboring Wright County got a tip from a gentleman claiming to have rented out a trailer to two individuals with dozens of dogs. The authorities got a second warrant, then drove out to that spot in the evening and found the dogs in makeshift pens. But the owners had left, they say.

The dogs have been transported to Humane Society facilities in St. Louis and Carthage, Missouri. Roy says the Humane Society will be recommending charges to the Webster and Wright county prosecutors tomorrow.

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