12:04 PM

Judy Lee Chambers (SCSO)
An elderly woman from Marionville has pleaded guilty to animal abuse after investigators found several sick and dead animals on her property near Hurley last March.
Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby says Judy Lee Chambers, 65, pled guilty on November 2, 2010 to animal abuse and improper disposal of a dead animal.

Investigators went to Chambers home at 354 Holts Spring Road on March 16, 2010 and observed several dogs with no access to food or water.

Sheriff Richard Hill said at the time, “Investigators knocked on the front door of the residence and could detect a strong foul odor of what was believed to be feces and urine coming from the home, and saw at least 13 dogs running loose and free inside the residence, with several of the dogs appearing to be emaciated. They also observed an abundance of feces and trash covering the floor.”

Investigators applied for a search warrant to check on the well being of the animals.  Armed with that warrant, sheriff's deputies and members of the Missouri Humane Society raided the property on Monday, March 22, and found 55 dogs, several of them emaciated and in need of veterinary care.

The animals rescued included more than 40 Dachshunds, four Great Pyrenees, one German Shepherd, several Boston Terriers and five mixed breed dogs. Two four-week-old puppies, who were not being kept with their mother, were severely dehydrated and taken to a local veterinarian for immediate treatment.

According to the probable cause statement, investigators found 12 dead adult dogs and several newborn puppies, including a partially eaten puppy, in a plastic container behind Chambers home. More than 20 dogs were running loose inside the house; five others were held in wire crates in the kitchen.

A check of records at the time of the raid indicated the residents of the home had applied for a breeder's license but were found not to be in compliance with state statutes and denied a license.

The rescued dogs were taken to the Humane Society headquarters in St. Louis.

Selby says, "Both charges are misdemeanors and as a result of the guilty pleas she was placed on two years probation with special conditions that she not violate the law, not maintain a commercial dog breeding operation, and that she allow reasonable inspections of her property to make sure similar violations do not occur during her probation period."