ELSBERRY • The Humane Society of Missouri said Friday that its Animal Cruelty Task Force rescued 80 cats and 29 dogs that were living in filthy conditions on the site of a former animal shelter in Elsberry in Lincoln County.
Most of the cats were crowded into a three-room apartment reeking of urine and visible feces, the nonprofit based in St. Louis said. Many of them have matted or very thin coats; eye, ear and upper respiratory infections; and flea infestations.
Many of the dogs were housed in indoor/outdoor kennels and those found inside the living area have hair loss, visible tumors and very long nails, the rescue group said.
"In recent years, the owner had been licensed as an animal rescue facility," a press release from the Humane Society said. "Due to numerous unresolved citations, earlier this year the license was not renewed and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit alleging violations of Missouri’s Animal Care and Facilities Act.
On Thursday, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office got a warrant to inspect the property and remove animals in jeopardy. That office requested the Humane Society's help to remove and care for the animals.
A court hearing to determine permanent custody of the animals is set for Dec. 7 at the Lincoln County Justice Center in Troy, Mo., the group said.
The recovered dogs and cats will be examined and treated at the Humane Society’s Macklind Avenue headquarters.
Donations of pet toys, blankets, towels and shredded newspaper to help with the animals' care can be brought to the headquarters, at 1201 Macklind Avenue. Money donations can be made online at www.hsmo.org or by calling 314-951-1542.