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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Rescue

300 dogs rescued from 'years of neglect'

More than 300 dogs - many covered with feces and urine and all having no food or water - have been rescued from "years of neglect" in two separate busts within a week at breeding operations in Missouri.

Law enforcement authorities seized the dogs - mostly small-breeds like Chihuahuas, Boston Terriers, Miniature Pinchers, Lhasa Apsos, Shar-peis, Pugs, Pekingese, Pomeranians, Yorkies and Westies - at kennels in Pleasant Hope and Seneca, according to the Humane Society of Missouri, which assisted in the busts.

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The 93 Yorkshire terriers removed from the kennel in Pleasant Hope are in stable condition, but they will need weeks of continuing medical care, Humane Society of Missouri official Tiffany Collins told Love of Dogs. "They have had a nail trim and ear cleaning and are eating nutritious food, twice a day - many are on senior diets because of their dental problems."

The dogs were living in deplorable conditions, Collins said. "They have been relieved of the nasty, overgrown, severely matted fur that prevented many from seeing, walking and breathing properly."

Tim Rickey, director of the humane society's Animal Cruelty Task Force, described the conditions as the "most horrible conditions I've ever seen" and "year's of neglect."

The 208 dogs rescued in from the kennel in Seneca are mostly Chihuahuas, Boston Terriers, Miniature Pinchers, Lhasa Apsos, Shar-peis, Pugs, Pekingese, Pomeranians, Yorkies and Westies. A few are large breeds - Huskies, Chow Chows, Cocker Spaniels and Shar Peis. About 30 are puppies and several are pregnant. The rescue included a cat and a Bengal Tiger, which has been turned over to a zoo.

Humane society officials are optimistic about being able rehabilitate and place the dogs seized at the kennel in Pleasant Hope, a process that could take several weeks, Collins said. "Because the dogs came from a deplorable situation and had no veterinary care, many of them will have continuing medical problems," she said. "An interview and selection process will take place in order to find appropriate homes for the dogs."

A custody ruling is pending regarding the dogs rescued from the kennel in Seneca, so adoption proceedings for them will take a little more time, Collins said.

"These animals will have a very good chance at recovery and adoption," she said. "Many of the puppies will have to wait until they are old enough to be adopted, and we had many pregnant mothers who will be giving birth in the near future."

Humane Society of Missouri staff and volunteers have their hands full after handling two kennel raids in about a week, Collins said. "Our staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly and sometimes through the night to make space and get all of our rescued animals comfortable beds, food and water," she said. "Right now some of our small-breed dogs have even temporarily taken over our lunch room."

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The rescue and rehabilitation of such a large number of dogs is expensive, Collins said, and she urges people to make donations of cash and supplies such as blankets, towels, newspapers and single-shredded paper. Visit for more information about making donations and adopting the dogs.

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