TULSA, Okla. — There is a new vision for animal control in rural Oklahoma.
A local wildlife rescue plans to face the need for it by building a shelter. In creating the new shelter, the team at Wild Heart Ranch wishes to only serve animals taken in by the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies told 2 News they had to double as law enforcers and animal caregivers for years. They take on animal abuse cases weekly because there is no designated animal control department in the county. They said they are stuck with picking up the slack and shelling out hundreds of dollars for animal care.
“And we have very limited resources in dealing with any type of animal,” Lieutenant Daniel Welch said.
RCSO’s most recent case involves a six-month-old puppy named Nellie. Deputies responded to a call at Nellie's home in the Foyil area on Friday. Welch described her state of condition as, “emaciated, dehydrated, a severe case of mange.”
Nellie died Tuesday at a vet clinic. RCSO is working to prosecute her owner as they look for an animal control solution.
That's where Annette Kind steps in. She is the director of Wild Heart Ranch Wildlife Rescue and has seen Nellie's case hundreds of times.
“I’ve seen some stuff that most people don’t see," King said. "Monsters don’t live in the woods. They’re walking among us and a lot of them own animals."
In hopes of changing animal cruelty in rural Oklahoma, King plans to build a holding and medical care facility to strictly serve the seized animals taken by Rogers County deputies.
“It will allow the deputies to do their jobs,” King said. “Which means the owners will be prosecuted for these crimes.”
The project will take time, but the plan includes completing it by fall. Welch also hopes the community puts pressure on the county and elected officials to step in and help.
2 News contacted the Rogers County commissioners office about this story but have not heard back.
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