JONES, Okla. – After a homeowner’s house was foreclosed, officers discovered dozens of animals were left to fend for themselves.
Denise Troup said, “The whole neighborhood is upset about the animals because none of us knew.”
Authorities say more than 80 animals used to live next door to Troup.
After animal welfare officers investigated an animal cruelty complaint on Wednesday, they discovered almost half of them had died.
Troup says she became friends with a few of her neighbor’s pets and says she will miss seeing them every morning.
She said, “There’s three of them that were here all the time or were over here until yesterday, pretty much all the time. I called them the three minstrels; it was a horse, a donkey and a Shetland pony.”
Animal welfare said the owner was locked out of his house earlier this week due to a foreclosure.
That’s when the animals ranging from horses, dogs and even goats were discovered.
Officials say all the animals were taken to the shelter, suffering from different stages of neglect.
Tracy Lyons, with the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare division, said, “The standard animal neglect. Thin, some with issues skin issues, parasites and that sort of thing.”
Right now, the surviving animals are being cared for at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter.
Oklahoma City police are waiting for the results of a necropsy to find out how the other animals died.
Also, they will have to determine if the owner intentionally neglected the animals before they are able to file any charges.
So far, the man has not been arrested.
However, police say he will be taken into custody if formal charges of animal cruelty and neglect are filed.
If charges are not filed, the owner has five days to claim the animals at the shelter or they’ll go up for adoption.
Troup said, “If anyone has animals and cannot afford to feed them, ask for help. There’s plenty of people around who’d be able to help.”
If you suspect animal abuse or neglect, you call the city at (405) 297-2255.
You can also click here to report animal abuse or neglect.