JOHNSON COUNTY, Mo. - Nearly four-dozen dogs and a rabbit were rescued from a home near Garden City, Mo., on Tuesday.
While the Humane Society deplored the conditions the animals were found in by the Johnson County, Mo., Sheriff's office, the home's owner told 41 Action News he did nothing wrong.
"The dogs, 42 adults and three 2-3-week-old puppies were found living inside a residence in extremely unsanitary conditions. Many were housed in stacked, wire crates with two to three animals per crate, living in piles of their own waste," the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force described in a statement. "No food or water was available to most of the dogs. Several of the dogs are underweight, many are infested with parasites, have eye infections and are encrusted with feces on paws and legs."
The home, located on Missouri County Road ZZ, belongs to Aaron Bishop. He spoke exclusively to 41 Action News and said he took great care of his animals.
"Nothing wrong with any of the dogs, they're all healthy," Bishop said. "They are in clean cages. I clean their cages every night."
Bishop said about half the dogs were kept in the cages, while the rest roamed freely throughout his home. He said he would leave the animals inside the house for about eight hours a day while he went to work in Olathe, Kan.
"I usually clean the cages when I get home from work, and let the dogs run outside," Bishop said. "They're outside for four hours a day."
The dogs and one rabbit were taken to the Humane Society of Missouri's Headquarters in St. Louis.
A hearing to determine who has custody of the animals is scheduled for Nov. 16.
Organizers at the Humane Society said if custody is awarded to the organization, as many of the animals as possible will be made available for adoption.
The Humane Society also recommended animal abuse charges be filed against Bishop.