Dogs Rescued from Animal Hoarder Available for Adoption

Authorities removed more than 100 animals, including a skunk inside a West Plains home. Some dogs were so malnourished they ate rocks, according to a St. Louis animal rescue.

Several emaciated animals rescued from a hoarder in West Plains, Mo., last month are now healthy enough for adoption into new families, according to a local animal rescue.

Officials seized 50 domesticated animals, which are spread at shelters and foster homes from Springfield to Fenton. Conditions were so bad that some dogs ate rocks, and required surgery to relieve the pain.

Fox2 reported from the home after authorities arrived on Aug. 6, and that several would come through Sunset Hills to receive primary care before placement in rescues. The resident, who authorities said has several aliases but identified herself to press as S. Tara, told an Ozarks news station she felt forced into taking other peoples’ animals.

“There were about 130 animals,” said Wonder Weims Rescue representative Angie Pillman, which included five horses, a mule, goats, gaming pigeons, and a chinchilla. The resident had more than 20 cats and another two dozen dogs, many of which were kept in stacked cages outside. A skunk lived inside the house, Pillman said.

The Missouri Department of Conservation took the ‘odder animals,’ and worked on rehabilitating some to the wild. The cats were transported to Tri-County Animal Shelter in St. James, Mo. One volunteer near Buffalo, Mo., turned her home into a temporary holding place for 20 dogs, Pillman said. 

Dogs were placed primarily through Wonder Weims to volunteer fosters from Springfield into St. Louis city limits. A few made their way to Open Door Animal Sanctuary in House Springs, and one pug mix is being fostered in Fenton.

Aside from malnourishment, several dogs suffered dental issues. A red-boned coonhound named Ole Red “had been eating rocks because he had no food…. He had 12 teeth pulled, most of which were chipped. One tooth was rotted all the way from the bone to the sinus cavity,” she said.

Some of the dogs might require extra work with house training, walking on a leash, or fetching because of their previous living conditions. However, Pillman said based on an experience with a few of the more defensive pups of the lot, she doesn’t believe these rescues will present behavioral issues to new owners.

She spent some time with two small labs that were “aggressive, attacking the cage and getting out of control.” To reduce their constant barking, she practiced entering and leaving their pen. After some positive encouragement (and peanut butter), they were docile enough for cleaning. Pillman said it was a matter of three hours before the dogs were licking her face.

Many of the dogs are suited for homes with other dogs or children, according to the adoption website. 

“They’re more timid, if anything. They’re friendly and loving, and glad to be getting attention.”


What dogs are available locally?

  • A female pug mix is available in Fenton
  • Three Italian Greyhounds and a Chinese Crested are available in St. Louis city

Dogs available in Buffalo and Springfield are listed on the Wonder Weims website. Pillman said because they want to get these rescues into good homes, they’re offering the dogs in Buffalo for a $50 adoption fee. 

A handful of dogs had pending availability last week, and should be featured on the site shortly!


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