The Missouri Attorney General on behalf of the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) recently obtained a consent judgment against Marlisa McAlmond d/b/a Cedar Ridge Australians. The Attorney General had charged that Cedar Ridge had failed to provide adequate veterinary care to its animals, failed to provide adequate housing, and failed to provide the animals with adequate health and husbandry measures. Cedar Ridge has also been cited for unsanitary living conditions and on several occasions cited for not providing drinking water for its animals.
As a result of the consent judgement, McAlmond must relinquish over 200 dogs to the state so that they may be adopted into loving homes and receive care and affection for the first time in their lives.
Unfortunately, justice for these dogs was delayed for many months as McAlmond aggressively fought the charges by the Attorney General. McAlmond’s principal defense to the allegations of animal neglect were statements prepared by her veterinarian, Margaret Ann Nichols, DVM, of Missouri Cat & Cow Veterinary Clinic, Koshkonong, MO.
The statements of Dr. Nichols that were submitted to the Court stood in stark contrast to the photographs and testimony of the state inspectors and state veterinarian.
Dr. Nichols defended the number of malnourished dogs on the premises by contending that “since the early fall of 2019, this kennel experienced problems getting delivery of high energy sport mix dog food” and that “the dogs had to adapt to different brands of dog food.” Yet, Dr. Nichols admits that she has been the attending veterinarian at Cedar Ridge for the past five years and Cedar Ridge has been cited for underweight dogs since 2016.
Dr. Nichols even proclaimed the kennel to be “impressive” since she considered the number of dogs that were malnourished to be a small percentage of total dogs on the premises. Dr. Nichols comments that “At one of the last state inspector visits, fourteen dogs were cited as being underweight. With puppies and adults both counted on that day and numbering over 300, this seems like a low percentage for this size population.”