ST. LOUIS – A longtime problematic dog breeder in rural Missouri has been raided yet again. The Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force traveled to Douglas County in southern Missouri on Tuesday morning and successfully rescued seven dogs from a formerly licensed breeder.
Marilyn Shepherd (aka Marilyn Williams) operated a breeding business under the names Cedarcrest Kennel, Williams Kennel, PuppyFind, and Pups4U. She was recently found guilty of criminal contempt for violating a 2021 consent agreement put in place by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.
Shepherd appeared in Douglas County Circuit Court and said she’d sold all puppies in her care prior to trial. The judge ordered the removal of the seven remaining adult dogs from the property and fined Shepherd $9,500.
Shepherd was arrested at the time of the rescue and may face criminal charges for animal mistreatment.
The rescued dogs, five males and two females of varying terrier breeds, will be brought to the Humane Society of Missouri’s St. Louis headquarters for emergency veterinary treatment. Several of the dogs are suffering from skin abrasions and other health issues. The hope is to make the dogs available for adoption in the near future once they’ve recovered.
The Humane Society of Missouri has been rescuing dogs in Shepherd’s possession for the last quarter-century. The HSMO first investigated Shepherd in 1997 after receiving several reports of neglected puppies in her care.
This is also the second time in less than a year that the Animal Cruelty Task Force has rescued animals on Shepherd’s property. In 2021, the task force rescued 42 dogs from Shepherd’s Cedarcrest Kennel.
“Marilyn Shepherd is a repeat offender who has a long history of animal mistreatment and breeding violations that stretches back decades,” HSMO President Kathy Warnick said.
The HSMO is accepting donations to help care for abused and neglected animals.
Concerned citizens can report animals that may be in danger or suffering from abuse and neglect to the HSMO’s Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314-647-4400.