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43 starving dogs, 9 deceased dogs recovered from Missouri property


Humane Society of Missouri’s president deemed this one of the “worst cases of animal neglect we’ve seen this year”

To report an animal that may be in danger or is suffering from neglect or abuse, call the local police and the Humane Society of Missouri's Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314-647-4400.

The rescue of the dogs in operation (Photo courtesy of the Humane Society of Missouri).

The rescue of the dogs in operation (Photo courtesy of the Humane Society of Missouri).

The Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO) Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT), an animal-rescue and disaster-response team, recently rescued 43 starving Shiba Inus of different ages from a former commercial breeder’s property in Douglas County, Missouri. According to an organizational release,1 the living animals are severely emaciated and suffering from various injuries and health conditions, and the remains of 9 deceased dogs were found on the property and recovered.

The rescue occurred following a request from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department featuring photos of the dogs in sickly conditions and a warrant was served by the Douglas County Sheriff to remove the dogs and provide temporary custody to HSMO. A disposition hearing to determine legal custody is set for 9 am on November 9th at the Douglas County Court in Ava, Missouri.

HSMO quickly gathered and remove the animals. At least 1 of the dogs photographed on passed away shortly thereafter, and its remains, along with those of 8 others, were recovered by ACT.1 A staff veterinarian from the Missouri Department of Agriculture helped the ACT to examine the dogs’ condition before they were transported back to HSMO headquarters.

"We're grateful to the Animal Health Division staff at the Missouri Department of Agriculture for lending assistance with this horrific situation and heart-wrenching rescue," expressed HSMO president Kathy Warnick.1 "The conditions at this property amount to one of the worst cases of animal neglect we've seen this year. The caring citizen who tipped off the Douglas County Sheriff's Department undoubtably saved the lives of many of these innocent dogs and gave them a second chance at life. We'll do everything in our power to ensure these sweet animals receive the care they need to fully recover and find loving forever homes."

The rescued animals are receiving emergency veterinary treatment and health checks.

HSMO aims to be given custody of the dogs at the November 9th disposition hearing. If awarded custody, the dogs will be available for adoption after they have been given a clean bill of health by the veterinarians and evaluated by the animal behavior team.1 As the animals medically and behaviorally recover, they will be up for adoption on a case-by-case basis.

Most recently, the HSMO announced rescuing 106 dogs suffering from abuse and neglect in various Missouri counties.2 Donations to help support the care of these dogs and the Shiba Inus can be made on the HSMO website. HSMO also invites the public to donate blankets, newspapers, dog toys, dog beds, or anything else that can make these animals' recovery more comfortable.1


  1. Humane Society of Missouri's animal cruelty task force rescues 43 starving dogs, recovers 9 carcasses, from a property in Douglas County, Missouri. News release. Humane Society of Missouri. October 19, 2023. Accessed October19, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/humane-society-of-missouris-animal-cruelty-task-force-rescues-43-starving-dogs-recovers-9-carcasses-from-a-property-in-douglas-county-missouri-301961704.html
  2. Burke J. Humane Society of Missouri rescues 106 dogs suffering frm abuse and neglect. dvm360. October 5, 2023. https://www.dvm360.com/view/humane-society-of-missouri-rescues-106-dogs-suffering-from-abuse-and-neglect
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