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The Missouri Agriculture Policy Committee is considering a bill on Thursday, January 25, that would make several changes to protect dogs and the rights of dog owners when animals are seized on suspicion of neglect or abuse.  The purpose of the bill is to protect the rights of the accused and ensure they are treated as innocent until proven guilty, and to protect any dogs that are seized and held during a trial.

Missouri dog owners are encouraged to contact the Agriculture Policy Committee and express support for House Bill 1826. Click the online witness form, select HB 1826 from the list, and then follow the prompts to either request to testify in person at the hearing or submit written comments to the committee.

HB 1826 Bill Summary:

House Bill 1826  provisions include:

  • Only allowing law enforcement officers to obtain a warrant to inspect, care for, or confiscate allegedly neglected or abused animals. The officer must appear at a hearing within 15 days of the confiscation for the purpose of granting immediate disposition of the animals (current law requires a hearing within 30 days of when a request is filed).
  • Expanding current law to allow animals to be placed during a trial with a third party approved by the court (current law allows placement only with veterinarians or animal control). This could allow for dogs to be placed with co-owners or other responsible parties during a trial. It ensures the care of the animals while alleviating burdens on shelters.
  • Prohibiting animals from being sterilized during an ongoing trial, unless necessary to relieve that animal’s suffering.
  • Ensuring that animals receive proper care as determined by state law and regulations. The facility or organizations caring for the animals are liable to owner for damages resulting from negligent acts or abuse that occur while the animals are in their care.
  • Clarifying that within 15 days after the disposition hearing, the owner may post a reasonable bond or security to cover the animal’s care. If the owner is found not guilty or charges are dropped, the costs of care must be paid by the confiscating agency.  Further, under current law, if the owner did provide sufficient bond and is ultimately acquitted, the animals will be returned to them. This is not changed in this bill.

The American Kennel Club and the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners support this bill, which protects both the health and safety of animals seized and the rights of owners, unless and until proven guilty.

AKC Government Relations and the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners (MoFed) continue to closely monitor these and all legislative bills in Missouri impacting dog owners.  For more information, contact AKC GR at or MoFed at