DELAWARE COUNTY, Okla. -- Chris and Clare White of Jay were arrested Friday for allegedly abusing and neglecting animals at their home outside of Jay.
But their son says the family cherished their animals.
"We were looking after the animals, we never mistreated the animals they liked us, they liked to see us everyday," said William White.
While raiding the home, the Delaware County Sheriff's Office and animal rescue teams seized 37 dogs, 9 cats and 300 chickens. The White's 5 children, ages 11 to 23, were also taken into DHS custody.
"These animals were in very, very, many of them were in very bad shape physically," said Delaware County Sheriff Harlan Moore.
Oklahoma Alliance for Animals officials said the animals were losing their fur and had fleas from flea infestation inside the house. White said the heat is the reason for the animals lack of fur.
"Until a few months ago most of them were looking pretty healthy. It's cause of the hot weather in the summer that hit them," said White.
During the rescue, volunteers set up a temporary vet clinic.
"We did have to euthanize 3 on the spot because they were near death. There was no turning back from where they were," said Oklahoma Alliance For Animals Program Director Alyssa Stone.
White said the family had intentions of getting rid of the dogs and were breeding the chickens to sell. He said he realizes now the family had too many animals.
"All our dogs loved us and we looked after them," said White.
The rest of the animals were signed over by Chris White to the Oklahoma Alliance For Animals.
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