Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced today that dog breeder Marlisa McAlmond of Cedar Ridge Australians in Oregon County was found in criminal contempt of a court order. The order was entered earlier this month. Attorney General Schmitt previously filed an application for an order to show cause and a 24 count criminal complaint against McAlmond. This order is separate from the criminal case against McAlmond.
“Working to hold substandard breeders accountable for their actions is an important duty of this office, and one that I’ve taken seriously,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “While this is a win for our office, there’s still more work to be done in this case.”
The order, which was signed and entered by an Oregon County judge earlier in December, finds McAlmond in indirect criminal contempt for euthanizing 21 otherwise healthy dogs and for not holding a breeder license. The order can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/mcalmond-contempt-order.pdf?sfvrsn=6abc5616_2
Evidence provided by the State during proceedings established that McAlmond had 21 dogs euthanized between that date that the court order was established on September 8, 2020 and September 22, 2020, the date that McAlmond was supposed to surrender those dogs to the state. According to the order, a veterinarian working for the Missouri Department of Agriculture examined the dogs on August 11, 2020. In her testimony, she stated that only a couple dogs were thin, one puppy was in distress, and none were disabled. In addition, she stated she saw no reason for the dogs to be euthanized.
Based on the evidence and testimony, the judge found McAlmond in indirect criminal contempt for euthanizing 21 dogs. The order states, “the court finds, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Respondent had these dogs euthanized in order to prevent their being taken into the custody of movant."
Additionally, the order found McAlmond in indirect criminal contempt for failing to register and obtain licensure to be a hobby/show breeder.
Under the order, McAlmond is required to spend 30 days in jail, 28 of which are suspended upon the completion of 200 hours of community service.
The order also requires McAlmond designate three dogs to retain and surrender the remaining 17 dogs to the state. The Humane Society of Missouri rescued the remaining 17 dogs earlier this morning, and they remain in the Humane Society of Missouri’s care.
The criminal case against McAlmond is still pending.