OKLAHOMA CITY – Cellphone video shows a young dog seized by animal welfare after several calls from a neighbor to get it help.
“You could see the chain’s too heavy. You could always see its ribs, and it just had no energy. I feel like, when a puppy doesn’t have energy, something’s wrong,” neighbor Bekah Barkocy said.
Barkocy’s house butts up to where the dog was living in northwest Oklahoma City. She’s said she’s been watching its health decline since April.
“Had a little black snout. Super cute. Super active and then all of a sudden it was on a chain within about a week or two, it stopped barking. It stopped having any sort of personality,” she said.
Oklahoma City Animal Welfare went to check it out before but said they didn’t see the dog the first time.
“The first few times that we went, the dog that is underweight that we have in custody now was not seen on the property, and so closing the call due to the other dogs on the property seemed to be healthy,” Jon Gary, supervisor for Oklahoma City Animal Welfare, said.
Gary said there was another black dog that seemed healthy.
Friday afternoon, things changed and this pet was seized from its owner. They owner was cited for animal cruelty.
“The responding officer was just one of our animal welfare two officers, where now the case will be passed over to our cruelty investigator,” Gary said.
We went to talk to the dog’s owner. He told us he was surprised to see animal welfare take away his dog.
“Comes in and eats. Goes back out and, when the weather gets bad, it comes in,” Bob Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he doesn’t understand why it’s so skinny and believes it may have a condition. He said he was going to take it to a veterinarian to see if it did.
A vet will evaluate the dog’s condition and report the findings.
Barkocy is just glad it’s out of her neighbor’s backyard.
“I want to see it playing at dog parks with other dogs and being taken on walks. I mean it’s never been taken on a walk. I never want to see it in this backyard ever again,” she said.
If you suspect animal abuse or neglect, Gary said it’s important to be as specific as possible when describing the dog and the issue. They said they get around 3,000 calls a year regarding animal cruelty.
“These citizens were seeing something that we weren’t seeing, and thankfully they continued to call in and we were able to get the dog into our care and try to get him the care he needs,” he said.
Gary also said they have to get permission from the owner to be able to go into a person’s home unless cleared by a judge.
Right now, there are no laws regarding tethering an animal, which is what Barkocy would like see changed.
Barkocy started a Facebook group with some other residents after the incident and finding out the ordinances for animal cruelty in Oklahoma City. It’s called Stop Animal Cruelty Now.
They are hoping to get more laws change regarding treatment of animals including tethering laws.
As for the dog’s owner, he said he is planning to put the dog up for adoption if he gets it back.