The Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force rescued 55 dogs and puppies from a property where they were left to starve and freeze, the group said.
The dogs were found tied up, malnourished and left outside in temperatures as low as the teens, according to a Jan. 20 news release from the Humane Society of Missouri.
Rescuers also discovered the remains of 15 dogs and five goats among which the surviving dogs were living, the release said. Necropsies will be performed to determine their causes of death, officials said.
The rescue operation was prompted by calls from concerned residents and the Stone County Sheriff’s Office, according to the release.
The property owner surrendered the dogs and was arrested by the Stone County Sheriff’s Office, the group said.
”Each pup leaned into us and seemed to say ‘thank you,” the Humane Society of Missouri said in a Jan. 21 Facebook post.
The dogs “rushed to their food and water bowls and then immediately curled up to sleep,” the group said. “They knew they were warm and safe. There were so many grateful faces.”
The humane society said the best way to help is to adopt, according to the post. “When you adopt you free up a kennel for another pup who needs it just as badly,” the group said.
The dogs will be available for adoption following veterinary evaluation, officials said.
“Without immediate intervention I don’t know how many more of these animals would have died,” human society President Kathy Warnick said in the release. “Now that they are safe, we hope we can count on the community’s support as we do everything in our power to care for these dogs and give them a second chance at a happier life.”
Stone County is about 215 miles southeast of Kansas City, Missouri.