OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – In a post that's been shared over 10,000 times on Facebook, Rebecca Horsley accused Oklahoma City Animal Welfare of returning her dog in poor health after being in their custody for 85 days.
Horsley says back in November, her Italian Mastiff, Duke, was accused of being a dangerous dog.
She says he spent almost three months in their custody, but when she finally got him back, his condition brought her to tears.
“I got to the car before I completely broke down. I have never seen him look like this," Horsley said. "He was very sad, and he’s skinny and he’s got ulcers. It was clear he was not treated well in there.”
Horsley says not only did Duke lose almost 40 pounds, but her vet says he was dehydrated, covered in ulcers and infected with worms.
"I was heart broken to see him like that. [They took away] the happy loving animal,” Horsley said as she wept.
After 85 days with animal welfare, Horsley says Duke lost 40 pounds, was dehydrated, covered in ulcers and infected with worms.
“Our main mission is life saving," OKC Animal Welfare Superintendent Jon Gary said. "Any time we have a dog that’s under our care that doesn’t have the best outcome, we want to see what we can do to be better."
Gary says they are looking into Duke's case. He says losing weight in a shelter environment is normal, but admits that Duke's case is extreme.
He says time in a shelter can be even harder for dogs that are found guilty of menacing like Duke.
“Our staff is not able to get them out, walk them, give them some of the enrichment we give other dogs because of the potential safety concerns," Gary said.
Gary said despite the circumstances, Duke was well-cared for and even dewormed around 12 days ago. But Horsely isn't buying it. She says something has to change before another dog ends up like Duke.
“I don’t have advice for people," Horsley said. "I feel like I got put in a losing situation and I couldn’t win it.”