By Craig Day, The News On 6
NOWATA COUNTY, OK -- Dozens of dogs have been seized in a puppy mill investigation in Nowata County.
Those dogs are now getting much needed attention and care. That's after investigators say they were found in filthy conditions at a home.
Many of the cute little dogs at the Nowata Animal Shelter have such sad eyes.
Law enforcement officers say it's because they came from a sad situation.
"The conditions were just not good," said Jay Long, Nowata County Sheriff's deputy.
"An animal is totally and completely at the mercy of a human being," Holly Ridenhour, Nowata Animal Control, said. "And this is how we treat them."
When Nowata County Sheriff's deputies and the City of Nowata animal control officer investigated a suspected puppy mill southwest of town, they seized 59 dogs.
"The mud was horrible, feces, green water," Long said.
"How can you say you care about an animal and leave them in such a condition?" Ridenhour said.
The bottoms of some of the pens were made of wire, so investigators say many lived above a mixture of feces, urine and spoiled food.
"A lot of eye ulcers, a lot of skin conditions," Ridenhour said.
"Bloody paw from what it looked like was walking on the wire," said Long.
"There was one in particular that was so matted with feces that it could no longer continue to allow it to release from its body," Ridenhour said.
Investigators also say some were malnourished and dehydrated.
While they're now getting the care they need at shelters in Nowata and neighboring Washington County, the sheriff's office is moving forward with its animal cruelty case.
"Your heart goes out to any animal and it was just shocking," Long said.
No one's been arrested and no charges are filed yet, but they are expected soon.
"I'm very frustrated," Ridenhour said. "This is a gift from God. Why would you do that?"
The animals will be adopted out once the case runs through the court process. With so many animals seized in this case, the Nowata Animal Shelter is in need of donations to help care for the dogs.
Donations can be made through Nowata City Hall or the Nowata Police Department at 918-273-3531.
Stolen items in three separate crimes in the last two weeks were recovered thanks to cell phone GPS locator Apps.