August 5, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today that the Lawrence County Circuit Court has entered a consent judgment against Shirley Gilbert for violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act.
Koster said Gilbert owned Wolfgang’s Puppies and Gee Gee’s Yorkies, a commercial breeder facility located in Aurora. Department of Agriculture inspections had uncovered numerous violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act. The defendant operated her breeding facility without a license; failed to provide adequate veterinary care to animals who were in obvious medical distress; failed to provide adequate ventilation and odor control; failed to provide clean, dry bedding and wind and rain breaks to protect the dogs from the elements; failed to collect and remove animal waste; failed to clean and sanitize the facility or to provide adequate space for the dogs; and failed to provide housing that protected the animals from injury.
Koster said to comply with the terms of the judgment, the defendant transferred all of the dogs at her breeding facility to the Humane Society of Missouri for veterinary evaluation and rehabilitation prior to adoption. In addition, Ms. Gilbert agreed to shut down her business for a period of six years. The judgment ordered the defendant to pay a $500 civil penalty, $1,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs of the investigation, and $200 in restitution to consumers who were harmed by misrepresentations Ms. Gilbert had made regarding her status as a state licensed dog breeding facility. The court also has assessed penalties should she violate the Animal Care Facilities Act during the defendant’s six-year probation period.
Koster, in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, has made cracking down on illegal dog breeders and sellers a priority in his office.
“As Attorney General, one of my singular goals is to clean up Missouri’s reputation with regard to ‘puppy mills,’” Koster said. “We want Missouri to be known as a state that raises animals in a human environment and offers dogs from well-operated kennels to buyers across the country.”