A city government under fire tonight, after residents say a group of puppies died from exposure to freezing temperatures.
Residents in the town of Healdton say there are no heaters at the animal shelter and nothing but the cold, concrete floors for the animals to sleep on.
They took their anger to a recent city council meeting and then called News Channel 4.
Residents have spent the past several days trying hard to find a home for every animal left at the shelter.
Meanwhile, the city manager says he is now shutting the shelter down.
Susie Shelton, a Healdton resident, said, “There was nothing on the concrete floors, those dogs were having to lay on concrete.”
Shelton says it was at the shelter that a group of puppies froze to death.
She said, “Even though they were nursing they just couldn’t stay warm.”
The animal shelter has no heaters and no air conditioning. Two large garage doors are typically left cracked open allowing fresh air to flow through the shelter.
City Manager Charlie Clark said, “If there’s been any lack of consideration for the dogs it’s not going to happen again.”
Clark says he was unaware of the problem before a town meeting last week.
He said, “I’ve decided to close the facility down.”
However, that decision has drawn concern from Susie and others who are upset about the shelter situation.
She says they were told the animals left there at the end of Monday would be euthanized. She and others scrambled to find them homes to prevent that from happening.
However, the city manager says that’s not the case.
Clark said, “We are taking the animals to Ardmore.”
We asked the city manager about the puppies Susie says froze.
In regards to that situation, he said, “I heard that in the same meeting. I don’t know what the facts are about that.”
Susie says it’s not just about the puppies, but she says other animals at the shelter have also been suffering and not getting necessary treatment.
Susie said, “I have never seen a dog that was so starved and sick.”
Though the city manager assures us he working to make sure going forward things are handled differently.
Clark said, “There were sufficient things said Monday night that need to be addressed and we are addressing them.”
Our crews spoke with an area donor who paid for the shelter. That donor said the city manager contacted him Monday, just before we did, about helping fund a heater and air conditioner for the shelter. That donor has agreed to help out.
As for the dogs, we have learned an area veterinarian did diagnose one of them with frostbite and a treatable form of heart worm. We have also learned all of the dogs have now been adopted.