Thursday, September 24, 2009

More Than 80 Animals Seized From Payne County Woman's House

By Jacqueline Sit

OKLAHOMA CITY -- One woman is facing charges of animal cruelty after more than 80 pets were rescued from a run-down home in Payne County.

Officials said the condition of the house was so poor that the pet owner, Marty Middleton, lived in a car outside the home.

Michelle Magby assisted in the rescue and said the animal's living conditions were very upsetting.

"I went down there and helped rescue these babies and they were all scared to death, and they didn't want to be caught and all running around like crazy," Magby said. "It broke my heart to see what kind of condition they were living in."

Sheriff's officers and animal control found nearly 85 dogs and two cats in and around the house living without water and barely any food.

"They were in mud and feces probably six to eight inches deep," said Payne County Gary McKinnis. "They were in small pet carriers. Some of them had litters. There was cockroaches, pretty rough conditions."

Six dogs had to be euthanized because of health issues. Many are in foster care at local animal shelters including in Perkins.

"Dogs are man's best friend, and you should take care of them because they'll sure take care of you," Magby said.

Middleton now faces one count of animal cruelty. Authorities said more charges could follow depending on the ultimate condition of the animals.

Middleton was previously found guilty in similar cases in both Missouri and Arkansas.

The pets will likely be put up for adoption once they are nursed back to health.

Oklahoma State University veterinarians have stepped in to help with the animals' rehab..." More