October 28, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today that the Schuyler County Circuit Court has entered a consent judgment against Cynthia Stump for violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act.
Koster said Stump owns Stump Farms Puppies, a commercial breeder facility located in Lancaster. Stump was first issued a license to operate her facility in 1997. When the license expired, she continued to sell dogs through her website. In 2010, Ms. Stump failed to comply with tax compliance requirements necessary to maintain her license. She did not apply for a license in 2001 and continued to operate her dog breeding facility without a license until the State compelled her to obtain a license under the consent judgment.
Koster said according to the terms of the judgment, Stump will pay the state the $1,000 maximum civil penalty for her failure to maintain a valid ACFA license. In addition, Stump must comply with the Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA) and the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act (CCPA) at all times in the future. Should Stump fail to comply with the ACFA or the CCPA within the next two years, the court will assess penalties for each day of each violation of $100 per day up to 30 days; $250 per day for 31 to 60 days; and $500 per day beyond 60 days.
Koster, in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, has made cracking down on illegal dog breeders and sellers a priority in his office. The lawsuit marks the fourth case in which Koster is able to use the force and effect of the CCPA, sometimes called the Missouri Solution, which was approved by the Missouri legislature and signed into law by Governor Jay Nixon on April 27, 2011.
The CCPA, the result of an agreement between the Missouri Department of Agriculture, commercial dog breeding and farming interests, and Missouri-based animal welfare organizations, strengthens standards for veterinary care and living conditions for dogs in commercial breeding facilities. The Act also gives the Attorney General’s Office the authority to file criminal charges for “canine cruelty,” the authority to seek civil penalties for offenders, and to seek enhanced penalties for repeat offenders.
“We have an obligation to protect the wellbeing of animals, and Missouri has recognized that obligation by passing laws outlining acceptable standards for pet breeders and commercial pet dealers,” Koster said. “This office will diligently continue to see that those laws are enforced.”