The Humane Society of Missouri, in conjunction with the Missouri Attorney General's Office and the Missouri Department of Agriculture, removed 73 adult dogs and puppies from a breeding facility in Monett.
The dogs were removed from Moser Kennel, owned and operated by Linda Brisco. Breeds included Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, American Eskimos, Poodles, Beagles, Papillons and Brussels Griffons. All have been taken to St. Louis for veterinary examinations and treatment.
The Humane Society will begin adopting the animals out as soon as they are deemed healthy.
Moser Kennel was temporarily shut down on June 26 through a temporary restraining order issued by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
The closing is due to alleged violations of Missouri's Animal Care Facilities Act and Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.
The lawsuit marks the first case in which Koster is able to use the force and effect of S.B. 161, sometimes referred to as the Missouri Solution Bill, enacted by the General Assembly this April as an amendment to Proposition B.
Koster said Brisco owns Moser Kennel, a commercial breeder facility located in Monett. Missouri Department of Agriculture inspections of the facility uncovered numerous violations of the law. The lawsuit claims that Brisco:
* Failed to provide adequate veterinary care to animals who were in obvious medical distress;
* Failed to clean and sanitize the facility, allowing excrement in food receptacles and dirty, muddy drinking water;
* Failed to keep sick, aged or young animals in indoor or sheltered housing facilities;
* Failed to equip housing facilities with disposal and drainage systems in order to keep animal waste and water eliminated so the animals stayed dry;
* Failed to provide shade for the dogs;
* Failed to collect and remove animal waste. In some places, feces had accumulated to the point it was indistinguishable from the flooring; and
* Failed to provide housing that protected the animals from injury.
In addition, Brisco routinely used a gunshot as a means of euthanasia, also a violation of the law.
In an agreement reached Thursday, Brisco also surrendered her Missouri Department of Agriculture commercial breeder license and will not operate a dog breeding facility for at least six years.
"Our goal is for Missouri to gain the reputation as the state with the best and most humane breeders in the country," Koster said.
Since 2009, the Missouri Department of Agriculture has stepped up inspections of various dog breeding facilities throughout the state in an effort to strengthen the industry.