Wagoner Co. Deputies Shut Down Suspected Illegal Puppy Mill Operation

Wednesday, April 29th 2020, 8:41 pm
By: Reagan Ledbetter

WAGONER COUNTY, Oklahoma - Wagoner County Deputies helped rescue more than 50 dogs in what they said is an illegal puppy mill operation.

Deputies said the people who live here were charged in December with the very same crime.

Wagoner County Deputies said while serving a search warrant, they found dogs locked in cages all over the property, walking in their own feces.

They said several dogs were running around the property, walking in and out of an RV and there was trash everywhere.

“Most of them are all crammed. You’ve got two dogs in a small cage. The floors are completely covered with filth. There’s very little water out there,” said Sgt. Jeff Halfacre with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office

Deputies said they found three litters of newborn puppies inside a shed with their mother.

They said another dog was about to have puppies.

“They are taking and pinning up numerous animals and they are breeding them. There’s a large number of animals. At least 50 animals that we’ve counted so far,” said Halfacre.

Records show In October, deputies went to the property while investigating Chester Burkholder for child abuse and found more than 60 dogs in cages with no food, water or shelter.

Records show Brittany Khuse admitted at the time, the dogs were all hers.

Khuse and Burkhlolder were both charged in December for Animal Cruelty and Burkholder was also charged for child Abuse.

Deputies said Khuse and Burkholder were given a grace period to get help for some of the dogs and improve the living conditions, but deputies said that didn’t happen.

“It’s pretty sickening,” said Halfacre. “You see something like this, we all have pets, so we can call empathize with a Cat or a dog and you see something like this, and it just makes you sick.”

Recuse organizations from Tulsa, Eufaula and Oklahoma came to take the dogs.

They will treat them, then start to find homes for them.

Sgt. Halfacre said Khuse told them she was trying to get a license, but he said that doesn’t excuse the dog's living conditions.

“The owners or the breeders wouldn’t live in conditions like that therefor we shouldn’t make the animals live in the conditions like that,” said Halfacre.

The charges in December are still pending. Based on what they found here today they plan to seek charges in this case as well.

News On 6 reached out to the attorney for Khuse and Burkholder and he declined to comment.

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The THD also encourages people to talk with their health care providers or call 211 for questions and information on COVID-19 testing.