Recent weeks have seen an influx in criminal animal cruelty cases. Over the weekend Tulsa news stations reported two separate incidents involving animal violence. The first involved a 47-year old man beating a dog with a log then putting it in a plastic bag. They also reported a 22-year old man accused of drowning two ducks in muriatic acid.
In Claremore two individuals were arrested for dogfighting. Video evidence showed the accused individual stitching up a dog's neck, putting puppies through training exercises and the actual dogfighting.
Chouteau resident Paula Aliya was charged with cruelty to animals on July 26. Court records show an outstanding warrant on this felony charge as well as a misdemeanor case and a traffic case.
The probable cause affidavit describes the charge as cruelty to animals and unlawfully leaving a carcass.
A Chouteau resident called the police reporting that her animals has been attacked by Aliya's dog. Chouteau Assistant Police Chief Michael Reese responded to the call. Once on the scene he reported seeing one black and white dog and two brown brindle pattern dogs in Aliya's front yard.
“As I was looking at the dogs I noticed that the outline of their bones could be seen under their skin and the black and white dog was covered in ticks and sores,” said Reese. “I recalled a report of a dead animal smell in the area.”
Having been informed that Aliya owned a rottweiler that had not been seen in some time, Reese looked through a hole in the privacy fence into the back yard.
“I could see the carcass of a dead animal lying on the ground. The grass had been beaten down around the carcass and it seemed to be in an extreme state of decay and had the appearance of having been eaten,” said Reese.
Reese spoke to the woman about what he had seen and was told that she tries to feed the dogs every other day when she has the money for food.
“When asked about the carcass lying in the back yard and when the dog had died she stated that the dog had died about two weeks ago and that she had told her son to bury the dog,” said Reese. “Two days later she realized her son didn't bury the dog and told him to bury it again but failed to make sure it was taken care of.”
Oklahoma law defines animal cruelty as “overdrive, overload, torture, destroy or kill, or cruelly beat or injure, maim or mutilate, any animal in subjugation or captivity, whether wild or tame, and whether belonging to himself or to another, or deprive any such animal of necessary food, drink or shelter, or who shall cause, procure or permit, or who shall willfully set on foot, instigate, engage in, or in any way further any act of cruelty to any animal.”
Animal cruelty is a felony that can carry a fine up to $5,000 or imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year, or imprisonment in a state penitentiary for up to five years. In addition, the person may be required to pay for the cost of care and boarding of the victimized animals.