The Humane Society says it rescued 40 dogs, four birds and one rabbit from a property in Truxton with help from the Lincoln County Sheriff's deputies.

The animals rescued Tuesday included nine newborn chocolate Labrador puppies and five 8-week-old mixed-breed puppies, as well as other breeds.

The rescuers did not find where food or water were kept from the animals and some of the dogs had injuries consistent with dog fighting.

The animals were taken to Humane Society headquarters in St. Louis for treatment.

The society said in a news release that it and the sheriff's office worked with the animals' owners for several years to encourage proper care for the animals but no progress was made.

The investigation is continuing to determine if criminal charges are warranted.

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