Mo. AG enters agreement with breeding facility owner
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Friday that the Schuyler County Circuit Court has entered a consent judgment against a breeding facility owner for violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act.
Cynthia Stump owns Stump Farms Puppies, a commercial breeder facility located in Lancaster. Stump was first issued a license to operate her facility in 1997. When that license expired, she allegedly continued to sell dogs through her website. In 2010, Ms. Stump allegedly failed to comply with tax compliance requirements that were necessary to maintain her license.
She did not apply for a license in 2010 and continued to operate her dog breeding facility without a license until the state compelled her to obtain a license under terms of the consent judgment.
According to the terms of the judgment, Stump must pay the state the $1,000 maximum civil penalty for her failure to maintain a valid ACFA license and must comply with the Animal Care Facilities Act and the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act in the future.
Should Stump fail to comply with the ACFA or the CCPA within the next two years, the court will assess penalties for each day of each violation of $100 per day up to 30 days, $250 per day for 31 to 60 days, and $500 per day after 60 days.
Koster, in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, has made cracking down on dog breeders and sellers in violation of the ACFA or the CCPA a priority in his office.
The lawsuit marks the fourth case in which Koster has used the force of the CCPA, sometimes called the Missouri Solution, which was approved by the Missouri legislature and signed into law by Governor Jay Nixon on April 27.
The CCPA, the result of an agreement between the Missouri Department of Agriculture, commercial dog breeding and farming interests, and Missouri-based animal welfare organizations, strengthens standards for living conditions and veterinary care for dogs in commercial breeding facilities.
The act also gives Koster's office the authority to file criminal charges for "canine cruelty," the authority to seek civil penalties for offenders and to seek enhanced penalties for repeat offenders.
"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."