ASPCA Assists Caruthersville Police Department with Rescue of 19 Neglected Dogs in Southeast Missouri

The animals, some underweight with flea infestations and untreated medical injuries, were found in filthy and overcrowded conditions
September 16, 2021

Caruthersville, Mo.—At the request of the Caruthersville Police Department, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is on the ground assisting with the rescue of 19 dogs and one cat from two properties in Pemiscot County, Mo., approximately 90 miles north of Memphis. When investigators arrived on the properties earlier today, they discovered the dogs, primarily young Beagle-mixes, living in filthy and overcrowded conditions. Many of the dogs were underweight and some were suffering from untreated medical issues, including several with flea infestations, as well as at least one dog with an eye infection, one with a suspected untreated foot fracture, and one with a fractured tooth. Most of the dogs were closed off in an 80 degree, six-by-eight-foot bathroom that was covered in feces and urine and had dangerous levels of ammonia.

The ASPCA is providing support with operational planning and removal, evidence collection, legal assistance, forensics exams, medical and behavioral care, and sheltering for the animals. The Caruthersville Humane Society is also assisting with this case by providing field assistance as well as sheltering for the cat. The dogs are being relocated to an emergency shelter operated by the ASPCA at an undisclosed location.

“Working alongside law enforcement and local animal welfare professionals to assist with cases of cruelty and neglect is a key focus for the ASPCA as we strive to improve the lives of animals in communities nationwide,” said Leigh Anne Wilson, director of investigations for the ASPCA. “We are grateful to collaborate with the Caruthersville Police Department and Humane Society so we can bring these animals to safety and provide them with the much-needed medical care and behavioral treatment they deserve, and we hope to place them into new, loving homes as soon as possible.”

“We appreciate the ASPCA and what they’ve done to support needs within our community,” said Sue Grantham, Mayor for the City of Caruthersville. “This was an important issue to address for our citizens and rescuing these animals will help ease concerns.”

The ASPCA’s subject matter experts are helping the local authorities to collect evidence to support their investigation. Any criminal charges resulting from this case will be handled by the Pemiscot County Prosecutor’s Office. The ASPCA is also providing support to ensure the best legal outcome for these animals.

The ASPCA deploys nationally to assist local authorities in animal cruelty cases including animal fighting, hoarding, and puppy mills. They also provide local communities with resources including grant funding, training, and subject matter expertise to effectively assist animals during cruelty and disaster situations.