Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force Returns to One of the Nation’s Most Notorious Breeders to Rescue 95 Labrador Retrievers

Home Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force Returns to One of the Nation’s Most Notorious Breeders to Rescue 95 Labrador Retrievers
Written by Doug Hampton

The dogs and puppies are on their way back to HSMO’s St. Louis headquarters for emergency veterinary treatment

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — This morning, the Humane Society of Missouri’s (HSMO) Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT) – one of the nation’s largest animal-rescue and disaster-response teams – conducted a rescue of 95 Labrador Retrievers from the facility of an unlicensed breeder in Phelps County, Missouri. The breeder, who had 83 dogs removed by the HSMO in late 2019 and early 2020, is included on the national “Horrible 100” list – a ranking of the worst dog breeders in the country. The rescue was coordinated in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Missouri Attorney General’s office.

The rescue came days after Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s office sought emergency court relief against Sandra Kozlowski of Sho-Me Labradors for multiple, repeated violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act. According to the suit, Kozlowski has repeatedly refused recent inspections by MDA officials and has been operating without a facility license since Jan. 31, 2022. During the last inspection in August of 2023, state officials found approximately 20 violations, including large dogs kept in small, cramped wire crates without consistent access to water.

“Too many helpless animals in Missouri continue to suffer at the hands of repeat offenders like Sandra Kozlowski,” said HSMO President Kathy Warnick. “It’s a horrific situation, and these bad breeders who trap helpless animals in a cycle of abuse and neglect need to be shut down permanently. Until then, HSMO will continue to exhaust our limited resources for repeated rescues. Thankfully, these dogs are safe now and will receive the care and rehabilitation they desperately need and deserve.”

Kozlowski and Sho-Me Labradors have landed on the national “Horrible 100” list for the last five consecutive years. Missouri leads the nation in the number of bad breeders, with 31 featured on the list. Missouri state laws, such as the 2011 K-9 Cruelty Prevention Act, have helped cut down on the proliferation of puppy mills and bad breeders, but questionable facilities still remain an issue for the state.

The 95 rescued Labrador Retrievers include adult dogs and puppies. Donations to help support the care of these animals can be made on the HSMO website at The HSMO also is asking the public for assistance through donations of blankets, newspapers, dog toys, dog beds or anything else that can make these animals’ recovery more comfortable. Needed items also are available to purchase directly from Amazon on HSMO’s wish list.

The HSMO expects to make the dogs available for adoption after they have been given a clean bill of health by the veterinarians and evaluated by the animal behavior team. As the animals recover – medically and behaviorally – they will be made available for adoption on a case-by-case basis. There is no current timeline for when these dogs will be ready for their forever home, but interested adopters can check the HSMO website at to see when they become available.

To report an animal that may be in danger or is suffering from neglect or abuse, call the local police and the Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314-647-4400.

About the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force
The Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT) is one of the largest animal rescue/disaster response teams in the United States. For more than 40 years, ACT has worked side by side with state, local and city law enforcement officials to investigate and help prosecute animal abusers.

Annually, Humane Society of Missouri’s 15 field-tested, professional animal cruelty investigators and staff:

  • Travel more than 350,000 miles
  • Make more than 10,000 responses to reports of abuse/neglect
  • Aid more than 20,000 animals

Humane Society of Missouri’s animal cruelty investigators understand the nuances of animal abuse law and the criminal justice process for documenting and filing evidence and work directly with sheriff’s offices, police departments and prosecuting attorneys to help ensure animal cases are handled in an expedient and professional manner. Humane Society of Missouri investigators also provide expert testimony in legal cases and before legislative bodies and provide consultation and training workshops for law enforcement, state agencies and local animal care and control workers.

Together, they work to hold people accountable for the abuse and neglect of animals in the St. Louis Metropolitan region and all of Missouri.

Contact Information for the Public
Report Animal Abuse: 314-647-4400
Donations: 314-951-1542
Humane Society of Missouri website: 

For more information contact:
Patrick Barry, BYRNE PR 314-540-3865
[email protected] 

SOURCE Humane Society of Missouri

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