1 of 6 | Humane Society of Missouri's Animal Cruelty Task Force member Alyssa Norsworthy holds two five-week-old puppies that were rescued by the group in Newton County, Mo., on Tuesday. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
March 1 (UPI) -- Animal officials in Missouri rescued 41 dogs from hazardous hoarder conditions in Newton County in Joplin.
The Animal Cruelty Task Force, operated by the Humane Society of Missouri, said Tuesday it followed up on a tip from the local sheriff's departments and found the dogs in "inhumane conditions." The organization said the homeowners voluntarily agreed to turn the animals over to the task force.
"The health and socialization of the recovered dogs will vary, and assessments will take place over the next several days to determine individual treatment plans," the Humane Society said in a Facebook post. "HSMO expects to make the dogs available for adoption after they have been rehabilitated."
The organization said the property where the dogs were found at was "littered with junk, rusted machinery, and dilapidated vehicles that the dogs had been confined to."
The task force said the dogs had matted fur and appeared to be "extremely fearful."
"One dog was limping and suffering from a very recent injury," the organization said. "The owner confirmed the animal had been struck by a car within the last 24 hours and that none of the animals had ever received any veterinary care while in her custody."
It was not clear if the owner was charged with any crime at the time the animals were taken. The owner told the Humane Society that none of the dogs had received any veterinary care.
Kathy Warnick, president of the Humane Society of Missouri said rescuing the dogs just started the protection process.
"Seeing the horrific conditions these animals were living under, I'm so grateful we were able to intervene," Warnick told KRCG-TV. "But their rescue is only half the battle. Now that the animals are safe in our care, we can begin the equally important work of rehabilitation and finding their forever homes."