Only one month after Confiscation; Judge David Tobben Orders Return Of 252 Animals to their Abuser!
"Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks said the humane society reported that a number of the animals were in such poor health that they had to be euthanized and said he was “extremely disappointed” with Tobben’s ruling but that will not stop his office from proceeding with criminal charges against Muessemeyer".
Again: We the Petitioners ask that the Missouri Cruelty to Animals Statutes regarding Animal neglect, Animal abuse and Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 578 Miscellaneous Offenses Section 578.021 (Neglected or abused animal not to be returned to owner or custodian) be honored!
See the MO Humane Society Task Force Animal Cruelty Reports/Video 2010/2013 Here
We the petitioners request full custody of the rescued animals be awarded to the Humane Society of Missouri and that Velma Muessemeyer not be allowed to breed or have domestic rabbits in her care again.
We ask that the Missouri Cruelty to Animals Statutes regarding Animal neglect, Animal abuse and Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 578 Miscellaneous Offenses Section 578.021 (Neglected or abused animal not to be returned to owner or custodian) be honored.
According to various news articles Velma M. states she runs a Business selling rabbits (since she was 13 years old) and has sold the animals for decades as pets to children, as breeder animals, feeders to other animals, as food and at one time had more than 600 rabbits that costs $500.00 a month to feed.
- Code of Federal Regulations Nov 6, 2013, Part 2, Subpart A - Licensing / 2.1 state that dealers selling over $500.00 with more than 4 breeding does requires licensing.
Subpart A (c) (e) states failure of any person to comply with any provision of the Act, or any of the provisions of the regulations or standards in this subchapter, shall constitute grounds for denial of a license; or for its suspension or revocation by the Secretary, as provided in the Act.
USDA Animal Welfare Act Nov, 2013
FACILITIES AND OPERATING STANDARDS
3.50 - Facilities, general, 3.52 - Facilities, outdoor, 3.53 - Primary enclosures, 3.56 - Sanitation, , 3.57 - Employees 3.58 - Classification and separation.
Feeding, sanitation, bedding, watering, predator protection, drainage, protection from extreme temperatures, floor space, compatibility (fighting) sanitation and husbandry practices where all in violation.
Referencing the HS of MO, this is the second time since 2010, Velma M. had all of her animals (more than 192 domestic rabbits, 25 goats, 10 cats, 21 chickens, four dogs and a duck) removed from her property. The rabbits were housed in raised wire-bottom cages with feces piled in the cages as well as underneath them with no food or shelter from the weather. Most of the cages held multiple rabbits with some housing as many as 10. Water for many of the animals was frozen, dirty and contaminated with feces. The goats had no food and were emancipated.
Rabbits are prey animals and hide illnesses until they are very sick. When living in deplorable conditions they may adapt to the filth but carry disease such as Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Pasteurella and Coccidiosis (Parasites). Domestic rabbits carry bacteria's at low levels, when stress or immune defenses are compromised the defense system won't be adequate to fight such bacteria.
Franklin County Associate Circuit Judge David Tobben ruled a two year suspension in 2010 after 158 rabbits, dogs, cats, goats, and fowl were rescued from Muessemeyer’s property.
A court agreement stipulated that Muessemeyer, for a period of two years, would be allowed to raise no more than 40 rabbits, two dogs, four chickens, four roosters one duck and one guinea pig.
That period ended in February 2012 and -
Despite previous warnings, living conditions did not improve for the Rabbits or Animals in her care, therefore we the petitioners feel that more than enough animals have suffered at the hands of Velma Muessemeyer and that animal cruelty charges are in order as well as no future breeding Or rabbits be permitted, along with periodic inspections by the HS of MO.
What does it say about an industry when someone facing charges for care and treatment violations is the Vice President of the Indiana State Rabbit Breeders Association?
Countless rabbits are seized from neglect in back yard rabbit breeding, the animals continue to suffer, are sold sick or diseased and the taxpayers continue to pay. Please prosecute the abusers and stop the incentive to harm rabbits for profit by supporting the Regulation of Back Yard Rabbit Breeders.
Photos are Property of the Humane Society of MO