OKLAHOMA CITY -- Authorities are investigating a horrific case of animal cruelty in Oklahoma City involving more than three dozen cattle left malnourished and without shelter.
The owner is now facing animal cruelty charges.
Animal welfare has been working with the cattle owner for weeks, but authorities tell us he ignored their warnings and the cattle have still gone uncared for.
Thursday morning, a judge signed off to have them seized while charges are pending against the owner.
Forty-one starving cattle roam the property at S.W. 149th and MacArthur.
There’s no water for them to drink, and the only food is a single bail of rotting hay.
“There’s some evidence of dead animals out here. Some of them are injured and can't move rather well at all,” OKC Animal Welfare Field Operator Trace Lyons said.
Thursday, animal control got a warrant to round up the cattle on the 25-acre property.
The cattle are headed to the city shelter where they’ll get food, water, and see a veterinarian; many of them need immediate care.
“Unfortunately, we see cows that are way thin and underweight. We also see animals with clear medical conditions, foot rots and some other issues which is indicative of standing in heavy water and lack of drainage and no shade,” OKC Animal Shelter Director Julie Bank said.
The cattle owner just rents the land, and investigators won’t release his name until he’s charged or arrested.
The animals will remain in city custody, at least for now.
“We don't seize animals to take permanent possession of them, they're seized for their own welfare. After that is taken care of and all fines and fees are paid to the city, whatever’s assessed by the judge, then he can reclaim his animals,” Lyons said.
The owner will now have to go before a judge, and whether or not he gets his cattle back, he’ll have to pay for their care until the criminal case against him is over.