CLEVELAND COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Although neighbors say a homeowner abandoned about a dozen dogs outside a Cleveland County home, officials are now speaking out about the case.
Earlier this week, neighbors told KFOR that several dogs appeared to have been abandoned at a Norman home.
“It’s cruel. They’re trapped in there with everything that they do, and nothing should ever have to go through that,” Gary Steelman said.
Several dogs could be seen behind a wire fence with a ‘free dogs’ sign on it.
Nearby residents said they had been trying to help take care of the dogs by feeding them, and had also called authorities several times.
The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office told KFOR the county doesn’t have an animal welfare service. They also say because of trespassing laws, it’s a tricky legal situation.
“The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office has checked on the dogs on Wildfire Drive on more than one occasion, and investigators are working with the District Attorney’s Office to determine if there is a criminally prosecutable crime that would allow us to take further action,” the department said in a statement.
Now, officials with the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office say they have learned more about the situation.
Authorities say the dogs were never abandoned.
Instead, they say the woman who owns the dogs and the property is in bad health and has fallen on hard times financially. However, she is still having a family member feed the dogs.
Sheriff's officials say they have put her in contact with a local rescue group to rehome the dogs.