Property owner Luke McDugle lives in Miami but owns five acres in Welch, OK. He found a pile of dead dogs on his tenant's, Katrina Wells, front lawn in early February.
“I came out to the property recently to pick up some metal I had on the property and it was not there but I did smell an awful smell and followed it to the corner of the lawn by the road and there was this pile of dogs,” said McDugle. “I counted 13 bodies and that includes skeletons. I was so angry and upset.”
McDugle called the Craig County Sheriff’s Office immediately.
“They came out took some pictures and now it’s been three weeks and the dogs are all still sitting there. There were two horses that had their ribs showing in the pasture out here, too,” said McDugle.
A neighbor told FOX23 News she saw the two starving horses there on Friday morning until she left town at 1:30 p.m. By 3:30 p.m. the horses were gone and on her way home she saw a double horse trailer pass her on the road when she was returning home.
The neighbor also said all winter long she has not seen one barrel of hay for those two horses and they were in bad shape. She said the Wells always had several dogs on their property and they would stay tied up on a short chain, unfed.
McDugle told the same neighbor FOX23 News spoke with about the dead dog pile on the Wells’ lawn about a week ago. The neighbor said the white dog, whose carcass is in the pile, was very thin and was living last month or so. Now, there is only one dog out front of the Wells’ home who the neighbor said her husband feels so badly for that he has poured food into a dish for him.
FOX23 visited the Wells’ home and talked with McDugle for this interview. Minutes before he arrived Katrina Wells and her daughter arrived on their property.
“I’m sure you aware of this big problem on your lawn,” said FOX23’s Danica Lawrence to Wells. “I’ll talk with you off camera,” Wells told FOX23's Danica Lawrence.
Wells said three of those dogs were poisoned in October when she was not home and the white one died in December. She said she told her son to bury them and he clearly never did. She said she takes responsibility for that but she never neglected, starved or abandoned her dogs or her three horses.
She said earlier this month her property owner, McDugle gave her one month’s rent in exchange for one of her horses. Now she has taken the other two horses to a veterinary hospital to prove her horses are healthy. She also took the one dog that was alive and eating the food her neighbor gave him, also to the veterinary hospital to prove he is also healthy and she does not neglect or mistreat her animals.
For the last three weeks Wells has been living in a motel because she had a break-in at the home earlier this month. She also told Lawrence she has cared for pit bulls for 23 years and never had a neglect case.
There were also two puppy carcasses and a puppy skull across the road.
“It looks like dogs were dragged over to the same pile for months maybe even a year,” said McDugle.
McDugle said it does not matter whether she starved them he wants nothing to do with this activity happening on his property and plans to sell the acreage.
Wells told FOX23 News she will give us an on camera interview as soon as the veterinary reports come back.
FOX23 called the Craig County Sheriff’s office several times and no one returned the phone calls.