MUSTANG, Okla. - Police are investigating a severe case of animal cruelty in a Mustang neighborhood.
Multiple dogs, including puppies, were trapped in a backyard for weeks while their owner was away on deployment.
A neighbor told officials seven dogs were confined to a backyard while their owner was on deployment.
"Because of the conditions of the dogs, they impounded all of the dogs to the animal hospital where they were later seen by the veterinarian," said Mustang Police Chief Chuck Foley.
Some of the animals were chained and tethered. Some had wounds around their necks from the tight collars.
One puppy's injuries were so severe that it didn't survive.
"The pup that was injured was found to be injured to such an extent that the veterinarian chose to put the dog down," said Foley.
A puppy, rejected by its mother, had become food for the other starving dogs.
"They're sort of the cast off of the litter and sometimes some of the dogs become aggressive to those puppies," said Chief Foley.
Officers say the dog owner is stationed out-of-state, and was relying on someone else to care for the dogs.
"There are other places for them. If you don't want them, there's a humane society, there's an animal shelter right down the road. There are other things to do than to be cruel to them and they can't help it, they're helpless," said Jessica Freeman, a neighbor.
Jessica Freeman stressed pets should be treated with love.
"Like you would treat your kid, because they are your family," said Freeman.
Police say they are thankful folks in the neighborhood contacted them.
"This is a case where someone had to step in for something where someone else wasn't there," said Foley.
The Mustang Police Department plans on filing criminal charges against the dog owner, starting with presenting the graphic images to the District Attorney.
The surviving dogs are being held as evidence during this investigation.