Koster uses new animal cruelty law

Bryan Cohen Jun. 29, 2011, 2:00pm


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster obtained a temporary restraining order on Tuesday against a Monett, Mo.-based dog breeder for alleged violations of multiple animal rights acts.

Linda Brisco, the owner of a commercial breeder facility located in Monett, Mo., allegedly violated the Animal Care Facilities Act and the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.

The lawsuit is the first case in which Koster is able to use the force of S.B. 161, referred to as the Missouri Solution Bill, enacted by the General Assembly this April.

S.B. 161 gives Koster expanded enforcement authority for commercial breeders who fail to abide by stricter standards imposed on Missouri citizens through Proposition B.

The allegations of the lawsuit include failing to provide adequate veterinary care to animals who were in obvious medical distress, failing to keep sick, aged, or young animals in sheltered or indoor housing facilities, failing to clean and sanitize the facility, allowing excrement in food receptacles and muddy, dirty drinking water, failing to provide shade for the dogs, failing to provide housing that protected the animals from injury, failing to equip housing facilities with disposal and drainage systems to keep animal waste and water eliminated so the animals stayed dry, and failing to collect and remove animal waste.

Brisco allegedly used gunshot as a means of euthanasia, which is also in violation of the law.

The court issued a temporary restraining order that prohibits Brisco from operating her facility and requires Brisco to allow the Missouri Department of Agriculture employees to inspect her puppies and dogs in preparation for a trial. Koster is seeking a permanent order requiring Brisco to shut down and pay court costs and civil penalties for past violations.

"We have an obligation to protect the wellbeing of animals, and Missouri has recognized that obligation by passing laws outlining acceptable standards for pet breeders and commercial pet dealers," Koster said. "This office will diligently continue to see that those laws are enforced."

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