ASPCA Rescues More Than 70 Dogs from Missouri Puppy Mill

Overwhelmed Puppy Mill Underscores Need for Missourians to Vote “Yes” on Proposition B Animal welfare agencies collaborate to transfer dogs to Springfield & St. Louis
September 21, 2010

Springfield, Mo.—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), in conjunction with the Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO), today removed 71 dogs from a puppy mill in Camden County in Central Missouri.  The dogs are being transferred to the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri in Springfield and HSMO in St. Louis, where they will be medically treated and cared for until they’re ready to be put up for adoption.

The dogs—which included mainly small breeds such as Dachshunds, Malteses, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, and large breeds such as Huskies and Boxers—were voluntarily relinquished by the kennel owner, who no longer could afford to feed them and contacted a local rescue group, Half-way Home Pet Rescue in Cedar County. Half-way Home contacted the ASPCA, which responded with a team of eight and its 60-foot-long animal transport trailer, which is stationed in Missouri and designed to meet demands of large-scale emergency situations. As part of the emergency relief efforts, PetSmart Charities® provided the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty team with pet transport carriers and crates.

Missouri, the puppy mill capital of the United States, exports more than 40 percent of all dogs sold in pet stores nationwide. It is home to more than 3,000 commercial dog breeding facilities, which represents more than 20 percent of puppy mills nationwide.

“The ASPCA is committed to assisting local animal organizations, as well as overwhelmed breeders, to help find homes for animals in situations like this,” said Tim Rickey, the ASPCA’s Senior Director of Field Investigation and Response.  “Having too many dogs, as this crisis clearly illustrates, puts a tremendous strain on local agencies when they are suddenly forced to care and find homes for large numbers of animals.” 

The ASPCA, a founding member of Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/ YES! on Prop. B, supports “Proposition B,” also known as the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act that will appear on the state’s November ballot.  Prop B promotes the humane treatment of dogs in Missouri’s large-scale commercial dog kennels, which will improve the lives of dogs by requiring large-scale breeding operations to limit the number of breeding female dogs to 50, as well as provide each dog with common sense standards such as sufficient food and clean water, regular veterinary care, adequate housing and space, and access to regular exercise.

Prop B is supported by more than 100 Missouri veterinarians and veterinary clinics; animal welfare organizations including the Humane Society of Missouri, the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, Central Missouri Humane Society, Humane Society of Southwest Missouri, Wayside Waifs, The Humane Society of the United States, and Best Friends Animal Society; prominent Missouri citizens such as Tony LaRussa and Linda Bond; as well as responsible dog breeders and Missouri businesses.

“When breeders no longer have a need for their animals, the problem lands squarely on the shoulders of local shelters,” added Half-way Home’s Latisha Duffy, who works closely with breeders in Missouri to find homes for retired breeding dogs.  “We’re grateful to national and local animal welfare groups for stepping up to the plate and working together for the common goal of saving lives.  Instead of being sold off to auction, these dogs now have a second chance at life.”