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Dozens of ‘severely emaciated’ Shiba Inus rescued from breeder

More than three dozen Shiba Inus were rescued from a Missouri breeder in “one of the worst cases of animal neglect,” according to the Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO).

Acting on a request from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department last week, HSMO’s Animal Cruelty Task Force, one of the nation’s largest animal rescue and disaster-response teams, conducted a rescue of 43 “starving” dogs from the property of a former commercial breeder in Douglas County, Missouri, HSMO said in a statement on October 19.

“The living animals were severely emaciated and suffering from various injuries and health conditions, and the remains of nine deceased dogs were also found on the property and recovered,” the humane society said.

The Humane Society of Missouri rescued 43 “starving” Shiba Inu dogs and found nine dead canines at a former commercial breeder’s property in the Ozarks.
Humane Society of Missouri

The rescued dogs are all Shiba Inus of various ages and conditions and are receiving emergency veterinary treatment and health evaluations, HSMO said.

HSMO President Kathy Warnick referred to the case as “a horrific and heart-wrenching rescue.”

“The conditions at this property amount to one of the worst cases of animal neglect we’ve seen this year,” Warnick said in an online statement. “The caring citizen who tipped off the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department undoubtedly saved the lives of many of these innocent dogs and gave them a second chance at life.”

The rescue took place after a warrant was served by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department to seize the dogs and place the canines in the temporary care of HSMO. A disposition hearing to determine legal custody will take place on November 9 at the Douglas County Court in Ava, Missouri, the humane society said. Details about the dog breeder were not available, and it was unclear at the time of publication whether the breeder or property owner where the dogs were found will face charges.

Newsweek reached out via email and Facebook on Sunday to the HSMO and Douglas County Sheriff’s Department for comment.

After receiving the tip about dogs living in horrific conditions from the “caring citizen,” who sent photos of “sick and extremely emaciated dogs,” HSMO worked quickly to round up and remove all the animals from the property.

At least one of the dogs photographed in the concerned citizen’s tip died by the time authorities arrived to rescue the Shiba Inus, according to the humane society.

Veterinarians from the Missouri Department of Agriculture joined the Animal Cruelty Task Force to assist with the rescue and examine the condition of the dogs prior to transporting them to HSMO headquarters for specialized medical care.

HSMO posted a video on Facebook showing some of the rescued Shiba Inus getting some much-needed cuddles.

“These 43 Shiba Inus are receiving the veterinary care and love that they deserve,” the shelter said in the post.

In another post, HSMO said the dogs still have a long road to recovery but are continuing to receive the love and care that they need.

“We’ll do everything in our power to ensure these sweet animals receive the care they need to fully recover and find loving forever homes,” Warnick said.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) says that the Shiba Inu breed, which originated in Japan and can be traced back to 300 B.C., is spirited and good-natured. The ancient breed is named after its history as a hunter in the rugged mountains of Japan, according to the AKC, which describes their appearance as “almost foxlike.”

The dogs, which vary in price but can cost more than $3,000 for a purebred puppy, are also known to be inquisitive and playful, according to the AKC.

To care for the 43 Shiba Inus until they’re ready for adoption, HSMO is also asking the public for assistance through donations of blankets, newspapers, dog toys, dog beds, or “anything else that can make these animals’ recovery more comfortable.”