April 28, 2009

Department of Agriculture Assists in Rescue of more than 50 Dogs in Phelps County

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – Today the Missouri Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department and the Humane Society of Missouri, assisted in the rescue of more than 50 dogs living in unsanitary conditions from an unlicensed breeding facility near Rolla, MO. The Department of Agriculture was notified of the unlicensed facility by the Humane Society as part of Operation Bark Alert – a new crackdown on unlicensed breeders in Missouri spearheaded by the Department. The Phelps County Sheriff’s Department issued a warrant to remove the dogs today. More than 1400 dogs have been rescued since January 2009 by the Department of Agriculture.

“We 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 proper care,” said Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the Department of Agriculture. “This is another example where the health and welfare of animals are at risk and our legitimate professional licensed pet breeders are at a competitive disadvantage. Missouri has led the nation in licensing professional breeders; now we will lead the nation in cracking down on unlicensed breeders.”

The rescued dogs will be transferred to the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis today. The dogs are believed to be Miniature Schnauzers, Beagles, Yorkshire Terriers, Pekinese and Cocker Spaniels.

For more information on the Department of Agriculture’s crackdown on unlicensed breeders, visit www.mda.mo.gov.