HSMO’s Animal Cruelty Task Force Rescues 55 Dogs in Stone County

January 20, 2024

On Friday, Jan. 19, the Humane Society of Missouri’s (HSMO) Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT) rescued 55 dogs, mostly large-breed mixes, from a property in Stone County, Missouri. The rescued dogs were transported to HSMO’s Macklind headquarters in St. Louis to receive health evaluations and emergency veterinary treatment. The carcasses of 15 dogs and five goats were also found on the property, but it is unclear whether the animals died of starvation or froze to death. The remains were removed, and necropsies will be performed.

The emergency rescue was prompted by calls from concerned residents and the Stone County Sheriff’s office. Members of the Animal Cruelty Task Force deployed immediately due to the animals’ reported conditions and the dangerous cold. The temperature was in the teens when the team arrived on the property to find dozens of severely malnourished dogs without food, water or shelter, living among the remains of numerous deceased animals. The adult dogs were chained or tied to fencing or trees, while younger dogs were living together in an outdoor pen.

The property owner surrendered custody of the dogs to HSMO and was placed under arrest by the Stone County Sheriff’s office.

The fact that these animals have had to suffer, and that so many animals died from living without food or shelter is devastating,” said HSMO President Kathy Warnick. “We appreciate the swift action and support of the Stone County authorities in making this rescue possible. Without immediate intervention I don’t know how many more of these animals would have died. Now that they are safe, we hope we can count on the community’s support as we do everything in our power to care for these dogs and give them a second chance at a happier life.”

Donations to help support the care of these animals can be made at hsmo.org/rescue. We are also asking the public for assistance through donations of blankets, newspapers, dog toys, dog beds or anything else that can make these animals’ recovery more comfortable. Needed items also are available to purchase directly from Amazon on HSMO’s wish list.

We will make the dogs available for adoption after they have been given a clean bill of health by the veterinarians and evaluated by the animal behavior team. As the animals recover medically and behaviorally they will be made available for adoption on a case-by-case basis. There is no current timeline for when these dogs will be ready for their forever home, but interested adopters can check the HSMO website at hsmo.org/adopt to see when they become available.

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