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Attorney General's News Release

July 14, 2011

Attorney General's Office takes first actions against dog breeder under new Canine Cruelty Prevention Act

Jefferson City, Mo. - The Office of the Missouri Attorney General and the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) have partnered with the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force to rescue 73 adult dogs and puppies from a breeding facility in Monett, Mo. in Lawrence County. The dogs are Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, American Eskimos, Poodles, Beagles, Papillions and Brussels Griffons.

On June 28, the Missouri Department of Agriculture worked with Attorney General Chris Koster to obtain a temporary restraining order against the owner, Linda Brisco, for violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act and the newly enacted Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.

According to inspections by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the facility:

  • failed to provide adequate veterinary care to animals in obvious medical distress;
  • failed to clean and sanitize the facility, allowing excrement in food receptacles and dirty, muddy drinking water;
  • failed to keep sick, aged, or young animals in indoor or sheltered housing facilities;
  • failed to equip housing facilities with disposal and drainage systems in order to keep animal waste and water eliminated so the animals stayed dry;
  • failed to provide shade for the dogs;
  • failed to collect and remove animal waste – in some places feces had accumulated to the point that it was indistinguishable from the flooring; and
  • failed to provide housing that protected the animals from injury.

In addition, the owner routinely used a gunshot as a means of euthanasia, also in violation of the law.

In an agreement approved this morning and enforceable under the circuit court, the owner will surrender all animals to the Humane Society of Missouri, surrender her Missouri Department of Agriculture commercial breeder license and will not operate a dog breeding facility for at least the next 6 years.

"It is our goal that Missouri will gain the reputation as the state with the best and most humane breeders in the country," Koster said.

"Since 2009, we have increased inspections, dramatically stepped up enforcement and number of citations and sent a profound message to learn to do the dog business right or get out of the business for good. This cooperation between our animal care program, the Humane Society of Missouri and Attorney General Koster will help us increase rescues and prosecutions and continue to strengthen the breeding industry in Missouri," said Dr. Jon Hagler, Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. "Through the work of Operation Bark Alert, Missouri now has over 500 fewer commercial breeders. There is more work to be done – and now more resources to help."

"This is the Missouri solution in action," said Kathy Warnick, president, Humane Society of Missouri. "We are very pleased by the quick actions of the Office of the Attorney General and the Missouri Department of Agriculture to ensure the welfare of these suffering animals and hold accountable those responsible for the dogs' care."

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