‘It looked like a skeleton with skin over it,’ Couple arrested for animal cruelty

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HARRAH, Okla.- Horrific charges of animal cruelty have been filed against a Harrah couple.

Officers say there were a total of nine severely malnourished dogs, including five puppies and their mother, found inside the Harrah home.

Mike Halvorson lives next door and says there were never any signs of animal cruelty.

"It's a good family. I didn't see anything major wrong," Halvorson said.

Sgt. James Waller, with the Harrah Police Department, disagrees.

"It angers me. To me, it's just as bad as someone doing this to a person," Waller said.

Police say they were tipped off after the couple brought the puppies to a neighbor.

They say one of puppies was stuffed in a plastic bag and suffocating to death.

Shortly after the dogs were taken in by officers, the puppy and its mother died.

Veronica and David Ellis, the owners of the dogs were arrested and face nine separate counts of animal cruelty.

Each count can carry up to five years in prison.

Sgt. Waller says what they did, and their reason for it, is inexcusable.

"Their excuse was they couldn't afford to really feed them," Waller said.

There are a number of things he says the couple could have done to keep the dogs alive.

"They can call their local animal control, they can go online, there are all kinds of rescues. There are all kinds of humane societies out there that would love to help out," he said.

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