Ag Department Report Clears Eldon Animal Shelter

Related Story

ELDON - A Missouri Department of Agriculture report released Wednesday finds insufficient evidence of abuse of dogs by Eldon police officers at the Eldon animal shelter.

The report was conducted as a follow-up investigation on allegations of abuse on two pit bull terriers, one female and one male, after an incident in January. Critics of the department alleged that police officers violently separated the dogs while they were mating, leading to grave injuries to the animals that required euthanasia. The Agriculture Department report concluded no verifiable evidence of abuse of the dogs.

But some still see inconsistences regarding the seperation of dogs. A previous shelter employee, Linda Owen, said the two dogs were placed in the same kennel and noticed them trying to mate. Animal Officer Debbie Hays said the decision for euthanasia was based on the dogs' aggressive behavior not due to injuries from separating the dogs when mating. The report said Captain Kidwell had talked to the woman who gave the dogs to the shelter and Captain Kidwell witnessed the male dog showing signs of stress, biting the gate, slobbering and head down.

The previous citations in November 2012 have also been corrected. The report in November last year revealed maintenance problems, rust and chipped pain which created jagged edges. The report also said identification and missing vaccination records as well as health violations, including uncaged cats, chewed buckets. The report in January revealed the animals relocated to licensed facilities to meet the regulations while construction to the animal shelter. Mayor Ronald Bly said the facility will reopen this weekend with its improvements finished.