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Investigators working to save hundreds of neglected animals

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MUSKOGEE, Okla. (KTUL) – The race is on to save dozens of cattle and horses that were the victims of severe neglect.

A Muskogee man is facing multiple counts of animal cruelty after 199 animals were discovered on 200 acres of land.

“Numerous dead horses and cows,” said Sheriff Charles Pearson, with the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators say of the 199 animals that were discovered, 23 have died as of Tuesday.

Authorities say more could die if their conditions do not improve.

“Just seeing the amount of damage that’s been done to them. The neglect that could have very well been prevented,” said Melissa Jackson, an investigator with the sheriff’s office.

The survivors were taken to a ranch near Muskogee and were immediately placed on a 30-day quarantine.

“It’s just going to be a matter of time to see which ones of them will be able to pull through it,” Jackson said.

Investigators say 54-year-old Dan McWilliams neglected to care for the animals and will soon be heading to court.

Officials say the animals were quality stock and could have fetched a hefty price if McWilliams had wanted to sell them.

“Anyone in the cattle business would love to have these cows,” said Pearson.

McWilliams posted a $25,000 bond on Monday.

A hearing to determine if he should lose his ownership rights for the animals is scheduled for next Tuesday.

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