Pet overpopulation still a significant problem in Missouri

November 13, 2017

The Humane Society of Missouri takes issue with the commentary “Missouri Legislature must reform animal welfare laws” (St. Louis Post Dispatch, Nov. 8, 2017).

As the largest provider of spay/neuter programs in Missouri for many years, HSMO is proud to have reduced the number of unwanted puppies coming into our shelters. However, pet overpopulation is still a significant problem in our state and country. HSMO routinely receives animals from many overcrowded animal shelters and rescue organizations in Missouri and other areas of the U.S. where too many unwanted pets fill their shelters.

Regarding oversight of organizations offering companion animals for adoption or sale, Missouri statutes and regulations set standards of care and provide for the licensing and oversight of these organizations. The Missouri Department of Agriculture is responsible for enforcement. In addition, HSMO strongly supports enforcement of the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act, which raised standards for animal care in commercial dog breeding facilities.

HSMO also advises not to fall prey to online ads and websites selling adorable puppies. When considering adding a pet to your household, we recommend:

  • Meet and interact with the pet in person before you adopt or buy.
  • Ask to see the areas where the pets are living, how they are cared for and if they have regular and immediate access to veterinary care.
  • Make sure the facility is licensed.

Denying these requests raises a major red flag that you are dealing with a substandard operator.

We also encourage anyone who suspects animal cruelty to contact our Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314-647-4400 or report online at

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