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Founders of Oklahoma service dog nonprofit facing animal cruelty charges

Dustin Parker with his family
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 07, 2022

TULSA, Okla. — Two people are facing charges in a Rogers County animal cruelty case involving a nonprofit providing service dogs to veterans.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said the investigation started Friday evening when his department got a tip about animal neglect in a home.

“There were dead animals there, as well as malnourished, as well as animals that weren’t provided, food water, and shelter,” Walton said.

One of the deputies investigating the case said they got a search warrant and with the help of the Humane Society of Tulsa and seized 36 animals including dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and a pony.

Investigators said there were dead animals on the property. Others had no food or water and were left out in the heat and sitting in their own waste.

“Any living being, you know, that is thirsty or hungry, you know when temperatures hit the numbers, they are right now with heat indexes out the roof, I think it amplifies the wrongness if you will of something like this,” Walton said.

The home belongs to Anne and Dustin Parker. They operate the Saving Souls K9 Foundation, a nonprofit in Claremore that provides service dogs to local veterans. 2 News Oklahoma profiled the organization at its office earlier this year. It is a verified charity.

The Parkers told investigators they were training service dogs, but then asked for legal counsel. 2 News Oklahoma tried to contact the Parkers, but were unsuccessful.

“This man and woman surrendered themselves, I don’t think we had to go get them,” Walton said.

Rogers County officials said the animals are now with the Humane Society of Tulsa. Walton said they've petitioned a judge to claim guardianship over the animals.

Dustin and Anne Parker are facing 34 charges of animal cruelty. The bond has not been set.

Walton said investigators also found evidence of four children living inside the home. They contacted DHS to investigate. The children are now in the care of their grandparents.

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