ST. CLAIR, Mo. -- A St. Clair woman faces charges after The Humane Society of Missouri removed more than 250 animals from her property amid concerns that the animals were neglected.
Velma Muessemeyer, 75, was charged with 21 counts of animal abuse.
Humane Society officials on Nov. 12 removed 192 domestic rabbits, 25 goats, 21 chickens, 10 cats, four dogs and a duck from Muessemeyer's property near St. Clair in Franklin County. Authorities say the animals were living in filthy conditions and some had no shelter from the weather.
Most cages held multiple rabbits, with as many as 10 crammed into each. Water for many of the animals was frozen, dirty and contaminated with feces
Nearly 160 animals were removed from the same property in 2010.
The animals were taken to the Humane Society shelter in St. Louis for treatment.
The Humane Society says many of the animals will be put up for adoption if the society is granted custody.
Penalties for each animal abuse count ranges from one day to a year in county jail, and up to a $1,000 fine.