- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 8, 2020

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Animal rescuers donned respirators and hazmat suits to remove 25 small breed dogs and one cat from a Missouri home where the owner had been dead for more than a week, The Humane Society of Missouri said Wednesday.

The group said in a news release that the small dogs were in varying stages of malnourishment and suffering from skin conditions and other illnesses common in long-term hoarding situations. The remains of at least one dog was also found inside the Hickory County home.

“This is an extremely unfortunate circumstance and it’s sad that it took the death of the owner to bring these horrendous living conditions to light,” said Kathy Warnick, president of the Humane Society of Missouri.

The Humane Society was contacted by the Hickory County Sheriff’s Office, and made plans to remove the animals once the owner’s body had been removed by the local coroner’s office.

The dogs will be treated at the Humane Society’s St. Louis facility, where they will be put up for adoption once they rehabilitated.

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