ST. LOUIS — Nearly 370 animals rescued in a raid last month in southwest Missouri are officially in the custody of the Humane Society of Missouri and a fish hatchery.
A Polk County judge awarded custody on Tuesday. The rescue that took place Aug. 12 was the largest animal rescue in the history of the Missouri Humane Society. Among the animals taken from the property near Pleasant Hope were 53 dogs, 43 rabbits, 11 cats, 26 ducks and many other animals, including goldfish and goats.
Since the rescue, two dogs and a guinea pig have died of malnutrition.
Investigators say animals and people — including six children — were living in filthy conditions at the site. The Humane Society says the animals had little or no access to adequate food, water or shelter.