February 19, 2009

Department of Agriculture Takes Action to Protect the Health and Safety of Animals

Department of Agriculture Takes Action to Protect the Health and Safety of Animals

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – Today, the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) took action to protect dogs living in unsanitary conditions at an unlicensed breeding kennel near Seneca, MO As a result of an ongoing investigation, the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA) program worked with the Newton County Sheriff’s Department to seize over 180 small breed dogs.

"Unlicensed breeders in the state put reputable licensed breeding professionals at a competitive disadvantage and the health and safety of the animals at risk," said Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the MDA. "The Department of Agriculture will continue to crack down on those who willfully violate the law."

In the Seneca case, the Department of Agriculture suspended the license and closed the facility in spring 2008. Recently, the Department discovered the unlicensed kennel again in operation and took action. The Department of Agriculture has taken 22 enforcement actions on substandard facilities since January 2009, resulting in over 920 dogs rescued.

The Department of Agriculture requires any animal shelter, pound or dog pound, boarding kennel, commercial kennel, contract kennel, pet shop, exhibition facility, dealer or commercial breeder to be licensed and inspected annually.

Missouri is one of the only state’s in the nation with an animal care program. ACFA Inspectors routinely work with local Sheriff’s departments and not-for-profit organizations to rescue animals from substandard facilities.

For more information or to report a substandard facility, contact ACFA at (573) 751-3076.