Future Of Bixby Animal Shelter Still Uncertain

Wednesday, June 22nd 2016, 11:10 pm
By: News On 6

A Bixby woman was arrested for animal cruelty after police found nearly 70 dogs in her home.

Officers arrested Yvonne McBride after the Humane Society rescued the dogs Tuesday. They said McBride told them she was housing the dogs for rescue groups in several states.

The arrest report says an animal control officer told her several months ago to move her dogs and she did, for a short time, but then moved them back to Bixby.

6/22/2016 Related Story: Bixby Woman Arrested In Animal Hoarding Case

The officer said McBride and her husband refused to come out of their home for more than 30 minutes, and during that time he said he saw her hit the dogs' crates and the dogs themselves with a stick.

As the Humane Society takes care of the animals, the City of Bixby is going through the process of establishing a shelter within the city.

Since Bixby doesn't have a shelter, it’s forced to take lost animals to neighboring Sand Springs. But a local animal hospital that thought it was going to serve that role is now feeling betrayed.

"I don't know if we want to work with them. I feel like we got taken for what we were trying to do," said president of Horizon Animal Shelter, Joleen Hansen.

Hansen said her group wanted to open an animal shelter for months after learning lost pets were being taken to Sand Springs.

"A lot of people weren't getting their pets back because they didn't know they were going to Sands Springs," she said.

City manager Jared Cottle said city leaders did discuss it with Hansen, saying, “We've been talking over time about who might operate it, how might that work, what's the arrangement, what a business plan might be."

But where Hansen says she was told by city leaders her group would get the contract, through a memorandum of understanding from the city, Cottle said the city never made any commitments.

Hansen said, "We don't have to go before the city council. You don't have to do anything.”

"Was never a point in time in the conversations that we've had with them, that I think the council would have lied or done any of those things," said Cottle.

The law requires the city take bids for any expense over $10,000, annually - the cost of the shelter to the city would exceed that.

Hansen said, "We had a lot of leg work done already. We weren't just asking for the contract from the city."

She said her shelter would have been able to help the nearly 70 animals rescued this week.

"We would have tried to make sure that none of these animals were any lost dogs from the city," Hansen said.

Hansen said she doesn't know if her group is going to put in a bid to be Bixby's shelter. She said the process has turned her off from working with the city.

She said they are exploring options to become a private shelter.