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Attorney General's News Release

July 19, 2012

Attorney General Koster shuts down unlawful Carter County dog breeder

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said his office has shut down a Carter County dog breeder for violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act.

Koster said Connie Nelson owned C&N’s Sunset Kennels, a commercial breeder facility located in Ellsinore. Under the terms of a consent judgment issued by the Carter County Circuit Court, Nelson is required to transfer all of the breeding dogs at her facility to compliant, ACFA-licensed facilities, rescue shelters, or to the public.

“We want Missouri to be known as a state that raises animals in a humane environment and offers dogs from well-operated kennels to buyers across the country,” Koster said.

The consent judgment also prohibits Nelson from applying to the Department of Agriculture for a permit for the operation of an animal shelter, pound, boarding kennel, commercial kennel, contract kennel, pet shop, exhibition facility, commercial breeder or hobby show breeder for six years. In addition, Nelson is required to pay court costs and a civil penalty of $5,000, with $4,500 being suspended on the condition that she doesn’t violate the terms of the consent judgment for six years.

Inspections by the Missouri Department of Agriculture uncovered numerous violations of the law, including that Nelson:

  • operated without an ACFA license;
  • failed to provide veterinary care;
  • failed to provide her dogs with potable water;
  • failed to provide solid resting surfaces to dogs in cages with elevated flooring;
  • failed to maintain a complete record of the disposition of her dogs; and
  • failed to identify her dogs or keep records of their identification

Koster, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Agriculture, has made cracking down on illegal dog breeders and sellers a priority in his office. Operating a regulated facility in Missouri without a license will no longer be tolerated.

“We take animal care seriously in Missouri and we welcome only those pet breeders who do it responsibly,” said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. “I am proud of the Animal Care team’s efforts and the continued cooperation of the Attorney General in addressing substandard breeders.”

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