Muskogee Rancher Accused Of Animal Cruelty Denies Wrongdoing
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Muskogee County rancher accused of nearly two dozen counts of animal cruelty said he doesn't believe he did anything wrong.
A judge forced the sale of more than 100 head of Dan McWilliams' cattle at auction after an investigation found cattle and horses on his property that were either malnourished or dead.
Cattle were sold to new owners at the Tulsa Stockyards Monday as McWilliams sat a few rows back and watched.
"I don't think it's right, but I guess that's for someone else to decide apparently," the rancher said.
News On 6 was there as Sheriff's deputies searched McWilliams' ranch in Muskogee County and found nearly 36 cattle and horses dead.
"I don't think it was caused because they were in any way deprived of anything, there was a lot of older animals," McWilliams said.
"They're allowed to die on the property."
Sheriff deputies disagree and say it's one of the worst cases of neglect they've seen. McWilliams faces 23 counts of animal cruelty.
Last week, a judge ordered his more than 200 animals be sold at auction.
The cows were the first to go, and they attracted quite a bit of attention. Usually cold weather means a smaller crowd at the auction, but there were about twice as many people present - many interested in McWilliams' cattle.
Rancher Bill Inhofe has been caring for the entire herd since they were found on McWilliams' property. Seeing the progress they've made so far, he wants to give them a permanent home.
"I wanted to buy some of them and fatten them back out and give them plenty to eat, and raise them babies," said buyer Bill Inhofe.
"Some of the calves gained as much as 60 pounds, and they are getting their bellies full and good looking."
Inhofe bought a dozen cows and their calves, along with two bulls. The others went to buyers who say they'll give them a good home.
McWilliams got to keep the money he made from today's sale. He has already paid the bill for the care they received after his arrest.
His nearly 100 horses which are also at the Tulsa Stockyards will be sold on Thursday, as McWilliams prepares for his next court date.