195 animals rescued from rescue facility

BONNE TERRE, MO (KFVS) - At least 195 animals were rescued from a rescue facility Tuesday near Bonne Terre, according to the St. Louis Humane Society.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department, today the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force rescued 124 dogs, 67 cats and 4 puppies.

The MDA inspected the facility in February and found numerous violations that jeopardized the health and welfare of the animals.

The facility's license was revoked when little or no progress was made on the multiple recommendations made to the organization, according to the Humane Society of Missouri.

The breeds of the dogs include various mixes of Border Collies, Irish Wolfhounds, Corgis, Beagles, Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Dachshunds and Chihuahuas.

Many of the dogs are suffering from hair loss and coughing.

Dozens of the cats were found in trash-strewn rooms with cobwebs.

Also, several of the animal appear to have upper respiratory infections and possibly internal and external parasites.

Humane Society of Missouri President Kathy Warnick said the group was trying to do the right thing, but lacked the resources to provide adequate care.

The rescued animals were taken to the Humane Society of Missouri's Headquarters on Macklind Avenue in St. Louis, Mo.

A disposition hearing to determine permanent custody of the animals will be April 11 in St. Francois County.

Diana Blackwell, who heads the shelter where the animals were taken, disputed that the dogs were not cared for properly. She said her shelter had become overcrowded recently. She said she made plans to move some animals to other states, but officials didn't give her enough time.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this story.