April 30, 2012

Department of Agriculture Removes Animals from Residence in Cape Girardeau County

Animal Care Program inspectors from the Missouri Department of Agriculture have worked in conjunction with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Office and the Humane Society of Missouri to remove animals from substandard conditions at an unlicensed facility near Millersville, Mo. Approximately 25 animals, including nine dogs, five cats, five equines and several birds, were removed from the residence of Paulette Tidwell in Cape Girardeau County.

Under the warrant obtained by the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department, the animals were rescued and transported to St. Louis today, where they will be placed with licensed shelters and rescues throughout Missouri, including the Humane Society of Missouri.

This morning's actions came in response to a tip to the Missouri Department of Agriculture's Animal Care Program's Operation Bark Alert. The tip indicated that animals at the facility were used for commercial breeding purposes and 10 animals, nine dogs and one cat, were sold Saturday, April 21. The tip also indicated that animals were housed in substandard conditions at the residence.

Paulette Tidwell was a licensed commercial breeder until 2009, at which time she notified the Department she was no longer operating as a commercial breeder and did not renew her license with the Animal Care Program.

The Department's Animal Care Program and animal health staff routinely work with local organizations to rescue animals from substandard conditions. Since January 2009, actions taken by the Department have resulted in more than 5,600 animals being removed from substandard conditions and placed with licensed shelters and rescue organizations.

For more information regarding the Department of Agriculture's animal programs, visit mda.mo.gov.