April 01, 2009

Department of Agriculture Responds to Dogs and Primate Rescue in Daviess County

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – This week the Missouri Department of Agriculture, with assistance from the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department and the Humane Society of Missouri, seized several dogs and cats that were being kept by an unlicensed breeder in unsuitable living conditions in Daviess County.

Prior to the seizure, the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call about an aggressive chimpanzee. Upon arrival, the chimpanzee became a threat to the officer and the chimpanzee was fatally shot. The Sheriff’s Department contacted the Missouri Department of Agriculture after subsequently finding approximately 200 dogs and three additional primates on the property. With a search warrant, the Department of Agriculture and the Sheriff’s Department revisited the location to find all but 15 dogs and 2 cats had been removed from the property. The Humane Society of Missouri is currently offering a $3000 reward for information leading to the location and recovery of the dogs removed from the unlicensed breeder.

The breeder, located in Winston, MO, has never been licensed with the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

“We are cracking down on unlicensed dog breeders in this state,” said Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the Department of Agriculture. “The unfortunate incident in Daviess County is another example of an unscrupulous actor putting the health and welfare of animals at risk and continues to put our legitimate licensed pet breeders at a competitive disadvantage.”

Since January, the Missouri Department of Agriculture has rescued over 1200 dogs across the state. To report an unlicensed breeder, contact barkalert@mda.mo.gov.