Dozens of Jack Russell terriers rescued in Washington County

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - More than 50 Jack Russell Terriers have a new lease on life.  The Humane Society of Missouri rescued them from horrific conditions in Washington County on Wednesday.

“I’ve not seen another property that was quite as bad as this. To say that it was filthy would be an understatement. There was feces caked on everything inside,” says HSMO Animal Cruelty Task Force Director Mike Perkins.

Perkins says it was a roughly one-acre lot with about 20 dogs living outside in makeshift kennels.  Thirty more managed to survive, trapped inside a filthy trailer.  Their owners didn’t live there. They’d occasionally dropped by to feed them.

On Tuesday, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department obtained a warrant to enter the home and seize the dogs.

Perkins says, “The floor, when you would walk across it, would actually sag, due to the amount of urine that was soaked into the floor. It was absolutely disgusting, and no place for an animal to live.”

The dogs, he adds, were starved for attention, food and water.  There was no running water in the house.

Fifty-four Jack Russell Terrier mixes, plus one Pit Bull, were transported back to the Humane Society in St. Louis.

Staff, volunteers and veterinarians diagnosed their ailments and infections, ranging from mange to blindness, tooth loss, swollen feet and ears injured from dog fights.

“They fight because there was not enough food, not enough water, so they’re fighting over resources,” explains Veterinarian Mark Wright.

About a dozen puppies, as young as four weeks, also needed immediate care.  Each dog’s condition was documented for photo evidence.

Perkins hopes the couple who kept these dogs in such squalid conditions will be charged.   He says, “That’s up to the judge to decide, as far as whether there was any time of criminal intent, any negligence. In my eyes, it certainly was an abusive situation.”

Next month, a judge will rule whether these dogs can stay with the Humane Society of Missouri. If that’s the case, most should soon be up for adoption.

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