On Feb. 27, Wainwright and Oregon County Chief Deputy Eric King went to the Alton Animal Rescue located just off AA Highway on County Road 112. Ed Hamilton, 44, is the owner, operator of the Alton Animal Rescue.
"When I arrived, I saw a dead dog laying in a pen with several live dogs. When I started toward the house, I saw a dead dog under the front stairs and another dead dog in a pen near the front of the house. There was a live dog in the same pen. There was no answer at the front door," Wainright said.
As Wainwright walked around the side of the house, she saw approximately four dog carcasses. "Based on this information and the condition of the live dogs on the property, I requested a warrant be obtained to remove the animals from the property. I removed two dogs Feb. 27 that were in need of immediate veterinary attention. Both dogs were humanely euthanized," she said.
On Feb 28, Wainwright returned to the Hamilton property with Oregon County Sheriff George Underwood and Dr. Greg Langley from Langley Animal Clinic in Thayer, to execute a search warrant on the Hamilton property.
"A total of 23 live dogs, two live cats and 23 dead dogs were found on the property. The carcasses of the dead dogs were taken to the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab at the University of Missouri to determine their cause of death," she said.
The live animals were taken to area veterinary care facilities where they are receiving necessary medical treatment.
"These animals died a horrible death. They were not being fed properly and some of them were starving. What is really bad is local people who knew they couldn't take care of their animals for whatever reasons, trusted this man to find a good home for them," Wainwright said.
Sheriff Underwood said Hamilton will be charged with animal abuse and neglect.