Officials Find Dozens Of Dead, Neglected Livestock On Muskogee County Ranch


Sunday, February 8th 2015, 7:19 pm
By: News On 6


WARNING: The attached video contains graphic images that may be disturbing to some people.


Dozens of animals have been found dead in Muskogee County, and deputies say it's one of the worst cases of neglect they've ever seen.

Now the sheriff's office is working around the clock to clean up the mess.

Muskogee County deputies have been on a property just south of Haskell all weekend trying to get a handle on just how many animals are dead and how many still are holding on.

"It's really bad, it really is,” sheriff Charles Pearson said.

At least 30 horses and six head of cattle were found dead on this ranch in Muskogee County just south of Haskell.

And the numbers could keep climbing.

“Well, we've been here a day and a half and it hasn't stopped,” Pearson said. “We work one section of this 200 acres, and then we move to another and it's just more and more."

Deputies said a tip came from several neighbors about dead horses and cattle on the property Saturday.

When they came to check it out, Pearson said they were shocked.

"Some of them have been here for months,” he said. “Some of them are dying as we speak. We've had three die since we've been here We've had to put down three; we've got three more that we've got to put down. There's just no excuse for what's going on out here. I just don't understand it."

The same day, deputies arrested Dan McWilliams, the man they say owns the property.

Pearson said that when McWilliams saw them coming, he ran and three deputies chased him down.

Pearson said, so far, deputies have counted at least 200 head of cattle and at least 100 horses in very poor heath, malnourished and riddled with parasites.

“The thing that really gets me, is that he's got all the equipment to maintain a ranch,” Pearson said.

But that equipment sits unused, the sheriff said.

Deputies now have given the livestock the bales of hay that was on trailers on the land.

Sooner Emergency Services and Pecan Creek Ranch are helping to round up the animals that are still alive and dig the holes for the ones that didn't make it.

“I don't have an answer as to why someone would let this happen," he said.

Right now, Pearson said they are going to be moving all of the cattle and horses that are still alive to places where they can get the right care and get healthy again.