Humane Society of Missouri Awarded Custody of Dogs and Cats Rescued in December from Horrific Hoarding Situation in Bates County, Missouri
101 animals removed; 63 under warrant, 38 surrendered by owner
Late yesterday afternoon, the Humane Society of Missouri received permanent custody of 63 of the 101 animals removed from a property in Bates County, Missouri, on December 20, 2017. The judge in the Circuit Court of Bates County ruled the animals were lawfully impounded and had been abused and/or neglected as defined by Missouri statute. The other 38 dogs and cats were voluntarily surrendered to the Humane Society of Missouri by the owner the day of the rescue.
“These animals had been forced to live in truly squalid conditions, the worst I have encountered in more than 40 years of rescuing animals from abuse and neglect,” said Debbie Hill, vice president of operations at the Humane Society of Missouri, who was on the scene during the rescue. “We are very grateful we can proceed toward giving them the second chance for a wonderful life they so very much deserve.”
The animals will continue to receive veterinary care, socialization and training; and be groomed, spayed or neutered, and microchipped. Each will be added to the roster of adoptable animals on the Humane Society of Missouri’s website, www.hsmo.org, as they become available for adoption. The dogs and cats are a variety of breeds and range in age from puppies and kittens to adults.
“We will continue to work with the Bates County Prosecutor to provide written and photographic evidence and testimony to aid in the prosecution of this case,” said Kathy Warnick, president of the Humane Society of Missouri. “And we are recommending prosecution to the fullest extent of the law so that no animals will ever suffer like this again.”
To aid in the animals’ recovery, the Humane Society of Missouri is requesting donations of dog and cat toys, long-cut shredded paper, newspapers, towels, blankets and sheets. Donations may be dropped off at the Humane Society of Missouri’s St. Louis Adoption Center, 1201 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63110. Monetary donations to provide for the animals’ continued care may be made at www.hsmo.org or by calling 314-951-1542.
At the request of the Bates County Sheriff’s Office, on December 20, 2017, the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT) rescued 84 dogs and 17 cats from an unsafe living environment on a property in Bates County in western Missouri. Many of them were living inside a waste-filled, trash-strewn and dilapidated small house. Some were in crates with so many layers of feces- and urine-saturated newspaper, the animals had no room to stand. Crates with animals in them were stacked on top of each other. Other dogs were in outdoor crates filled with animal waste and with little-to-no protection from the weather. Some single-dog crates contained two or three dogs. There was no running water on the property, and the majority of the animals did not have access to water.
In 2011, more than 50 dogs were rescued by HSMO from the same property under a warrant obtained by the Bates County Sheriff’s Office.
About the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force
The Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT) is one of the largest animal rescue/disaster response teams in the United States. For more than 40 years, ACT has worked side by side with state, local and city law enforcement officials to investigate and help prosecute animal abusers.
Annually, Humane Society of Missouri’s 15 field-tested, professional animal cruelty investigators and staff:
· Aid more than 28,500 animals
· Make nearly 9,000 responses to reports of abuse/neglect
· Travel more than 373,000 miles
Humane Society of Missouri’s animal cruelty investigators understand the nuances of animal abuse law and the criminal justice process for documenting and filing evidence and work directly with sheriff’s offices, police departments and prosecuting attorneys to help ensure animal cases are handled in an expedient and professional manner. Humane Society of Missouri investigators also provide expert testimony in legal cases and before legislative bodies and provide consultation and training workshops for law enforcement, state agencies and local animal care and control workers.
Together, they work to hold people accountable for the abuse and neglect of animals in the St. Louis Metropolitan region and all of Missouri.