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Attorney General Files Suit, Shuts Down Douglas County Breeder for Violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act

JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that his office successfully obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) without notice against Cedercrest Kennel and its owner Marilyn Shepherd for continuing violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA), including operating without an ACFA license.

The TRO without notice was granted on July 9, and a hearing is set for July 17. The lawsuit was originally filed against Shepherd in 2019, at which time Shepherd indicated she would obtain a license for her commercial breeding facility. Shepherd has since refused to comply with all requirements to renew her license and continues to violate the Animal Care Facilities Act, including breeding and selling dogs. 

“Like we have in cases prior, my office took swift action to ensure that a repeat violator of the Animal Care Facilities Act would not be able to continue to buy, sell, or breed animals in Missouri,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “We will continue to be vigilant in working with the Missouri Department of Agriculture to shut down substandard breeders across the state.”

From July 2016 to June 2020, the Missouri Department of Agriculture conducted fourteen inspections on Shepherd’s facility. Those inspections revealed a failure to provide adequate housing or medical care to dogs in the facility. An inspection, which took place on July 14, 2020, confirmed Ms. Shepherd continues to breed and sell dogs. On that date, Cedercrest Kennel harbored 107 adults and 60 puppies.

According to the TRO petition, “Defendants repeatedly failed to provide necessary veterinary care to several dogs exhibiting severe eye infections, bloody lesions and abrasions, lacerations causing hair loss, and severely matted fur resulting in redness and irritation…” 

Additionally, Shepherd also failed to keep necessary health and acquisition records. 

Lastly, Shepherd has been operating Cedercrest Kennel without a license since January 31, 2020. Shepherd has applied to renew her license, but has refused to obtain a statement of No Tax Due from the Missouri Department of Revenue, which is necessary to issue the license. 

Judge Elizabeth Bock granted the TRO without notice on July 9, and a hearing for preliminary injunction took place on July 17.

A trial is now scheduled for December 18th, 2020.