A Missouri Humane Society Animal Cruelty task force joined with sheriff deputies to remove over 250 animals from conditions described as “deplorable.” The breeder, Velma Muessemeyer, had been ordered by a court three years ago to keep no more than 20 rabbits. She also had several pigmy goats.
Betsey Bruce reported on the alleged animal hoarding case for Fox News St. Louis.
The director of the Animal Cruelty Task Force Mike Perkins said vets told him many of the rabbits were ‘living in their hutch with no bedding, living in their feces and there was approximately ten to 12 inches of feces underneath the outside kennels.
As many as thirteen domestic rabbits were crowded into one wire cage. Muessemeyer said she was getting ready to butcher some of them. ‘This was part of my living cause I don`t get a lot of Social Security so this was to help me out,’ she explained.
The woman admitted, ‘rabbits are messy, yes they are messy and they are a lot of work, but I go through fifty pounds of feed a day.’
Rabbit feces littered the ground around the woman`s home near St. Clair, MO. Vets who examined the rabbits at the Humane Society`s facility in west St. Louis City said some had ear mites and respiratory problems. A few had infected wounds from fighting each other. Some were under weight, but some appeared plump.
Twenty-five pigmy goats, ten cats, four dogs, as well as 21 chickens and a duck were also removed from the property.
This is the second time in nearly four years Muessemeyer lost her animals. Officials removed 158 animals at that time.
You can read the complete report online at http://fox2now.com/2013/11/12/nearly-200-rabbits-dogs-cats-and-other-animals-rescued-in-franklin-county/ The web page includes a video and several still photos.
For the next several weeks, the rabbits and goats will be cared for by the local Humane Society. On December 4th there will be a hearing at which time it will be decided whether or not Muessemeyer should be given her animals back.
Photo courtesy of Fox News.