Dog breeder arrested after Missouri Humane Society rescues several dogs from property


A woman who lost her license to breed dogs ended up in the Douglas County jail.

According to KY3-TV deputies arrested Marilyn Shepherd the same day the Missouri Humane Society rescued several dogs from her property. Shepherd first declined an interview. And then she made it very clear that she thought the humane society was destroying her entire life.

The Humane Society of Missouri coordinated the rescue with the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Missouri Attorney General’s office. The rescue came immediately after Marilyn Shepherd (aka Marilyn Williams), who operated breeding businesses in Missouri under the names Cedarcrest Kennel, Williams Kennel, PuppyFind, and Pups4U, was found guilty of criminal contempt for violating a 2021 consent agreement put in place by the Missouri Attorney General’s office. Shepherd revealed in court that she had sold all puppies in her care in the weeks leading up to her trial. The Douglas County Circuit Court ordered the immediate removal of the remaining seven adult dogs from her property and imposed a $9,500 penalty. By court order, she was allowed to keep one dog as a personal pet. Shepherd has been arrested and may face criminal penalties related to animal mistreatment.

In December 2021, the Task Force rescued 42 dogs, including many puppies as young as a few days old, from Shepherd’s Cedarcrest Kennel. At that time, she had no commercial breeding license, and her hobby (or show) license was permanently revoked for a violation of a 2020 consent agreement, also from the Missouri Attorney General’s office.

The rescued animals include five males and two females of varying terrier breeds. Several of the rescued animals are suffering from skin abrasions and other health issues and will need to be rehabilitated and socialized. HSMO hopes to make the dogs available for adoption in the near future after they’ve received compassionate, state-of-the-art veterinary care.

Ella Frank, the director of the Missouri Humane Society’s Animal Cruelty Task Force, said this was a win. She also says they found the dogs in poor condition and they dogs will eventually be put up for adoption.

To make matters even worse, Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase says Shepherd has been a hassle, including on Tuesday after being found guilty of contempt. He says “she decided that she was going to be combative and resist arrest. At that point, she was taken into custody and placed in handcuffs.”

Sheriff Degase said Shepherd received four citations, including resisting arrest and interfering with the dogs being taken away.

Authorities said Shepherd had been an issue since the 1990s, and whenever her business became the focus of an investigation, she would change its name. Previous names are Cedarcrest Kennel, Williams Kennel, PuppyFind, and Pup4U.

Frank said the dogs are now in good care.

The Missouri Humane Society said Shepherd has been on their national horrible hundred report for years, where they show puppy mill issues, so this is a win.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture spokesperson said more fines could be coming.

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