Over the weekend, the Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT) conducted a rescue of 19 dogs from an unlicensed breeder in Urbana.
Conducted with coordination with the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Attorney General’s office, the ACT was able to save all dogs and puppies at the facility, a majority of whom are newborn puppies.
The 19 dogs included two French and English mastiff mothers with six two-week-old and nine one-week-old puppies, respectively. Also rescued were two lab-mastiff mixes who are approximately 3 months old.
“The puppies are still very young. A lot of them do not even have their eyes open yet,” said Humane Society spokesman Gary Lowder. “So they’re still very dependent upon those mothers on their moms. But you know, when they’re able to be weaned from their mothers, they’ll undergo veterinary treatments … then they will be made for adoption on a case-by-case basis.”
According to their press release, this is not the Humane Society’s first encounter with the unlicensed breeder. In October of 2021, ACT rescued nearly 100 dogs from the formerly licensed breeder, operating as Cridder Creek Kennel, and later Little Miracles Kennel, in Hickory County.
The facility was found failing to maintain humane conditions for their dogs in January of 2021 and currently has a permanent ban on acquiring a license to breed animals. The facility has continued to breed dogs in spite of being denied a license to do so and is subject to ongoing litigation by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.
“We will do everything in our power to ensure the rescued dogs and their puppies are given a second chance at a happier life,” said Humane Society President Kathy Warnick. “We are grateful to the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Attorney General’s office for their persistent work on behalf of the animals trapped by this breeder’s relentless cycle of neglect and abuse. This is an important reminder of how vital effective animal welfare laws are in rescuing mistreated animals in Missouri.
According to their press release, the ACT is one of the largest animal rescue/disaster response teams in the United States. The 15-member team annually travels more than 350,000 miles, makes more than 10,000 responses to reports of abuse/neglect, and aids more than 20,000 animals.
A majority of the rescued puppies are very young and still dependent on their mothers. Those that are old enough are being evaluated and are expected to be made available for adoption on a case-by-case basis. Readers can support the care of these dogs and puppies by making a donation at HSMO.org/hickory.
To report an animal who may be in danger or is suffering from neglect or abuse, call the local police and the Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Hotline at (314) 647-4400.