An animal rescue organization in Bristow spent Sunday saving more than 100 dogs. Rescuers received permission from Lighthorse police to remove the animals from the home only to discover some were starving and others dead.
Animal advocates with Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue did a welfare check and wound up seizing three chickens and 106 dogs from an uninhabitable home with the help of Spay First.
Volunteers searched the property and found dogs buried in bushes, hiding in drawers and laying in feces.
Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue founder Beth Roberts said many were suffering from internal and external parasites, limb injuries and bloody skin lesions.
"I was in tears to think that this has happened, you know, in my town and I didn't even know the severity of it,” Roberts said.
Roberts said six puppies were stuck in a mattress inside the owner's home. Volunteers had to cut it open to rescue them.
"I became enraged and realized that something had to be done,” Roberts said.
Volunteers found dead puppies in plastic bags piled in a barn freezer.
Spay First executive director Ruth Steinberger said the hoarding is sad but not uncommon.
One of the first things they taught Steinberger in training was to check the freezer.
"Hoarding situations are tragic because hoarding is defined as a mental illness, and you saw what the house looked like,” Steinberger said. “This is horrible."
Steinberger said Oklahoma needs better animal cruelty laws for rural areas.
"We also have a lack of infrastructure and a law in Oklahoma that actually mandates that only counties with a population of 200,000 may have a countywide animal control and a public animal shelter," Steinberger said.
Roberts said this isn't the first time they visited this house. She contacted the homeowner three years ago, offering to help but said he refused.
Years later, someone nearby spoke up. Roberts said police granted a warrant and her organization stepped in to save the neglected animals.
"Help these animals. They have no voice,” Roberts said. “They need somebody to speak for them."
If you would like to help Bristow Barnyard Animal Rescue with Vet fees for the dogs, you can donate here.