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Humane Society takes in dozens of dogs from financially strapped shelter in southern Missouri

Humane Society takes in dozens of dogs from financially strapped shelter in southern Missouri


ST. LOUIS • Leaders at a southern Missouri animal shelter say financial strain and a severed relationship with an adoption partner forced them to send more than 100 dogs to the Humane Society of Missouri’s shelter Monday.

At the request of the board president at Diana’s Grove Dog Rescue, the Humane Society’s Animal Cruelty Task Force brought dozens of dogs from the shelter in Cabool, Mo., to St. Louis on Monday afternoon. More than 165 dogs in all are expected to arrive.

The Humane Society can house hundreds of dogs across its three locations.

Shelter veterinarian Mark Wright said the dogs will get vaccines and flea, tick and heartworm prevention medicines as well as dental work, ear cleaning and nail trimming. Wright said most of the dogs he had seen so far at the shelter on Macklind Avenue were in good condition, but some were being treated for injuries from other dogs and illnesses.

“Most of the dogs, yes, they weigh what they’re supposed to, and they are not in bad condition,” he said.

Wright, another vet and at least seven technicians were helping to process dogs Monday. The canines will eventually be offered for adoption.

Amanda Sheffield, Diana’s Grove Dog Rescue board chair, said she believes a pet store put a halt to its partnership with the shelter days ago after a puppy from the facility died of pneumonia.

She said the incident and perhaps other complaints about the shelter may have broken the partnership between the shelter and the store that had led to about 1,200 adoptions.

Sheffield said the Missouri Department of Agriculture had done a full inspection of the facility before the transport and found it was mostly in compliance with state shelter rules. She said without grants and corporate funding and only adoption fees to fund the organization, located in a low-income area, the no-kill shelter didn’t have enough revenue to house and treat the roughly 350 dogs on site.

“Right now, we are experiencing an unexpected, short-term financial crisis that left us temporarily unable to care for all of the dogs at our facility,” Sheffield said in a statement. She said she was thankful for help from the Humane Society.

Diana’s Grove has been in operation in 1994.

The shelter is also working with three breed-specific rescue organizations to house dogs, Sheffield said. She said the shelter does not plan to close, but will focus on leadership, organization and finding income sources other than adoption fees.

“The area in Cabool relies on the animal shelter,” Sheffield said. “We have some of the highest concentration of dogs to owners in the country and without a resource for dogs … a safe place for dogs to go, we fear what will happen to them.”

An earlier version of the story incorrectly placed the death of the puppy from Diana's Grove Dog Rescue.

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