More than a dozen canines were seized by authorities in Pettis County earlier this month.
According to Pettis County Sheriff Brad Anders, on June 4, he, Pettis County deputies, Prosecuting Attorney Philip Sawyer and Sedalia Animal Control seized 16 dogs from an address at Route U and McVey Road. After a series of attacks on persons in and surrounding Covered Bridge Estates, Anders says he sought an order from the Pettis County Health Department via Prosecutor Sawyer for the seizure of the dogs believed to be originating from a single residence.
Fourteen Pit bull mixes and two Chihuahuas were secured and currently are being held at the Sedalia Animal Shelter. Several victims of the attacks are undergoing rabies treatment.
Sheriff Anders says, “It is uncommon for this type of seizure to occur, primarily due to legal gaps in Missouri Statute, and the fact that the county has no contract with the shelter. Because of this, tax-payer funds dedicated to the Sheriff’s Office’s budget are being utilized to pay for the housing of these dogs, pending determination of their fate.”
Sheriff Anders says, “It is my duty to inform you that we are accumulating a bill with the shelter that is now approximately $9,000 of your tax money. I hope you all understand the gravity of this situation and support the choice to utilize the funds in such a manner. This is a rare occurrence that we meet this level of urgency, and I am working with the shelter to come up with a solution moving forward.”
Sheriff Anders also says several dogs over the past three months were shot and killed by citizens during this series of attacks.
A warrant was issued recently for Melanie Turner, charging her with five counts of animal abuse and two counts of possessing an animal which has essentially bitten a person.
According to court documents, Turner posted $5,000 surety bond on June 16.
Turner is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 22, at Pettis County Circuit Court.