Missouri attorney general files lawsuit, shuts down McDonald County dog breeder
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced his office shut down a dog breeder in McDonald County for repeated violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act resulting in inhumane conditions for dozens of dogs and the deaths of several.
The Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit seeking emergency court relief against commercial breeder Andre Damrill of Magic Puppies on July 20. After obtaining a temporary restraining order that enabled officials to rescue the remaining living dogs, the Office obtained a preliminary injunction earlier yesterday.
“The vast majority of Missouri’s breeders comply with the Animal Care Facilities Act and obtain the proper licensure,” said Attorney General Eric Schmitt. “For the breeders who don’t comply with the law and operate substandard or noncompliant facilities, my Office is ready, willing, and able to take action to shut those breeders down. This case is particularly egregious, and my office stands ready to aid in any criminal prosecutions as well. I’m proud to continue to work with the Department of Agriculture to root out these substandard breeders and hold them accountable.”
According to the lawsuit, Damrill repeatedly refused inspections by Department of Agriculture officials, and as of July 14, was past due 75 days for an annual inspection of her facilities. When attempting to make the inspection, officials noticed several thin boxers running in the yard, and noticed what appeared to be the presence of fleas on the dogs. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office immediately filed a petition for emergency temporary restraining order that was granted, allowing the attorney general’s office and officials to gain immediate and unrestricted access to Damrill’s facility and conduct an inspection on July 27. Officials with the Missouri Department of Agriculture discovered dead dogs as a result of the inspection, and the remaining dogs were removed under warrant with the assistance of the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office the very next day.
On July 29, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office filed a First Amended Verified Petition that details the conditions at Damrill’s facility. It asked the court for a preliminary and permanent injunction, which was granted Tuesday. According to the amended petition and the court’s preliminary injunction order, seven dogs were found deceased and in various stages of decay in enclosures at the facilities, with carcasses visible from the outside of the enclosure. Additionally, several dogs were observed to have thin bodies with ribcages clearly visible, and dogs at the facility had no access to clean or potable water. The inspection also found that enclosures and facilities were not ventilated or air conditioned, weeds and tall grass were not trimmed, and other various violations.
Under the preliminary injunction, Damrill is prohibited from breeding, selling, or operating as a commercial breeder. A criminal referral in the case is pending.
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