On Sunday, Oct. 11, animal rescuers found more than 100 starving and dead dogs that were being kept in insufferable conditions in a home located in Bristow, Oklahoma.
After Lighthorse police gave permission for a rescue organization to remove animals from the property, volunteers searched the premises and located dogs lying in feces and hiding in drawers. Some were dead, buried behind bushes.
In addition to finding 106 dogs, group Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue, with help from Spay First, also located three chickens during the welfare check.
The founder of the animal rescue, Beth Roberts, said, “I was in tears to think that this has happened, you know, in my town and I didn’t even know the severity of it.”
She added that many of the dogs were suffering from severe conditions, ranging from bloody skin lesions and internal and external parasites to injured limbs.
“I became enraged and realized that something had to be done,” Roberts said.
Roberts reported that inside the home, rescuers found six puppies lodged inside a mattress, which had to be cut open to rescue the infant animals.
But worst of all, dead puppies were found by rescuers, sealed in plastic bags piled high inside a freezer in the barn.
Unfortunately, according to executive director of Spay First, Ruth Steinberger, hoarding behavior as seen in this house is detrimental to the keeping of animals. She says that checking the freezer was one of the first things she learned first about animal rescues.
She added, “Hoarding situations are tragic because hoarding is defined as a mental illness, and you saw what the house looked like. This is horrible.”
According to Steinberger, tragedies like this are possible because there is “a lack of infrastructure and law in Oklahoma that actually mandates that only counties with a population of 200,000 may have a countywide animal control and a public animal shelter.”
This wasn’t the first time the house had been inquired about, either. Roberts said that three years ago, she had reached out to the homeowner, but he refused her help.
It wasn’t until a concerned citizen spoke up, reporting the situation to the police and a warrant was issued that Roberts was able to step in and rescue the neglected animals.
“Help these animals. They have no voice,” Roberts said to 6News. “They need somebody to speak for them.”
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