100 dogs, cats living in ‘squalid conditions,’ officials say

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ST. LOUIS – Several rescued dogs and cats were living in the worst conditions ever seen, according to an investigator with the Humane Society of Missouri.

Approximately 84 dogs and 17 cats which were discovered in far western Missouri. The animals were rescued in a day-long operation Wednesday at a home in Bates County, Missouri. They arrived at the Humane Society Headquarters in St. Louis early Thursday morning.

“This was the worst condition I’ve ever seen. Animals living in complete deprivation,” said Debbie Hill, vice-president of operations at the HSMO.

Hill said dogs were deprived of food, water, compassion and freedom to move about.

“Every single crate had accumulations of feces and urine in it,” she said.

The layers of waste made it difficult for the animals to stand. Doctors and assistants began checking the animals, both for evidence for a court case as well as immediate care for the dogs.

The owner of all the animals was charged back in 2011 when 50 dogs were removed from her property. Officials said that case was pleaded down to a nuisance charge. This time they are hoping she gets jail time.

“This is 100 times worse than the previous conditions,” Hill said.

Dogs that are supposed to be white are instead yellow or brown because of living conditions. The owner is described as a person who hoards animals and breeds them. Some dogs lived outside and with a potentially cold winter approaching, they had no protection.

The HSMO is in constant need of used towels, blankets and sheets, used dog toys, newspapers, and shredded paper.

“They keep them (dogs and cats) clean and dry and comfy, said Anne McLaughlin, an HSMO spokeswoman.

The Humane Society can always use help even if you don’t have a lot of money.

“Monetary donations are always appreciated, but there are things that you have laying around the house that can help these animals,” McLaughlin said.

Meanwhile, it looks like a nightmare is finally over for the animals.

“I consider that (home) to be a place of torture and death,” Hill said.

Some animals could be ready for adoption in a few weeks, others longer; it all will be determined by the court and the animals’ health.