For the second time in as many months, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has shut down a Lawrence County beeder.
Koster said today that the Lawrence County Circuit Court has entered a consent judgement against Shirley Gilbert, who operated Wolfgang's Puppies and Gee Gee's Yorkies in Aurora, for violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act.
An investigation by the Missouri Department of Agriculture uncovered numerous violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act, including: operating the breeding facility without a license; failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals who were in obvious medical distress; failure to provide adequate ventilation and odor control; failure to provide clean, dry bedding and wind and rain breaks to protect dogs from the elements; failure to collect and remove animal waste; failure to clean and sanitize the facility or provide adequate space for the dogs; and failure to provide housing that protects animals from injury.
To comply with the terms of the judgement, Gilbert transferred all dogs at her breeding facility to the Humane Society of Missouri for veterinary evaluation and rehabilitation prior to adoption. In addition, Gilbert agreed to shut down her business for a period of six years.
The judgement also ordered Gilbert to pay a $500 civil penalty, $1,000 in attorney fees and costs of the investigation, and $200 in restitution to consumers who were harmed by Gilbert's misrepresentation of her status as a state-licensed dog breeding facility.
Additional penalties will be assessed against Gilbert if she should violate the Animal Care Facilities Act during the six-year probation period.
Koster has made cracking down on Missouri's illegal dog breeders and sellers a priority in his office.
"As attorney general, one of my singular goals is to clean up Missouri's reputation with regard to 'puppy mills,'" Koster said. "We want Missouri to be known as a state that raises animals in a humane environment and offers dogs from well-operated kennels to buyers across the country."
In July, Koster's office and the Humane Society of Missouri removed 73 adult dogs and puppies from another breeding facility, Moser Kennel, owned and operated by Linda Brisco, in Monett. Moser Kennel was closed due to alleged violations of Missouri's Animal Care Facilities Act and Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.