WINDSOR, Mo. -- The Humane Society of Missouri rescued 31 dogs from what it calls "filthy" conditions at a home near Windsor in northwestern Benton County.
Thirty of the dogs are small mixed-breed, and one is a Labrador retriever. They were removed Thursday and taken to Humane Society headquarters in St. Louis for treatment.
The Humane Society says nine dead dogs were in the home. Rescuers say it appeared the living dogs may have fed on the dead ones.
Several of the dogs are undernourished and some are missing eyes. The Humane Society says many have eye and ear infections and suffer from parasites.
The owner agreed to surrender the dogs to the Humane Society. It wasn't clear if he will face criminal charges.
Edited news release from Humane Society of Missouri
The Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT) rescued 31 dogs from filthy, crowded living conditions in a home in Benton County in west central Missouri. In addition, ACT investigators found nine recently deceased dogs that appeared to have been partially eaten by the other dogs.
Thirty of the dogs are Shih Tzu/Maltese-type mixes, ranging in age from 6-month-old puppies to 12- to 15-year-old dogs. One dog is a Labrador Retriever mix.
The long-haired dogs are horribly matted with skin, ear and eye infections and internal and external parasites. Several are extremely thin and several are missing eyes. All of the dogs were living in a home with floors covered in feces and urine.
A concerned citizen notified the Benton County Sheriff’s Department about the situation; the sheriff then contacted HSMO’s ACT to assist the animals. The dogs’ owner agreed he is not able to properly care for the dogs and has surrendered custody to the Humane Society of Missouri.
“Obviously, these poor dogs have been suffering for a long time,” said Kathy Warnick, president of the Humane Society of Missouri. “Our first priority is for their safety, health and well-being. Our expert staff will do everything we can to rehabilitate them and find them the loving homes they deserve. In addition, our ACT will continue to investigate and develop evidence in this case toward recommending prosecution to the fullest extent of the law to the Benton County Sheriff’s Department and Prosecutor’s Office.”
The dogs were transported to Humane Society of Missouri headquarters in St. Louis, where they will be examined by Humane Society of Missouri veterinarians, cared for by shelter staff and made available for adoption as soon as possible.
To aid in their socialization and recovery, the Humane Society of Missouri requests donations of toys for small dogs and gently-used, clean, stuffed cuddle toys. Donations of newspapers, towels, blankets and sheets also are appreciated. Donations may be dropped off at the Humane Society of Missouri’s Macklind Ave. Adoption Center, 1201 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63110.