|Updated: 9/27 9:09 am
||Published: 9/26 10:52 pm
FOX23 has learned more information about what happened to 40 animals that were improperly cremated in Okmulgee County.
FOX23 reported on Thursday that the carcasses of dogs, cats and a rabbit were found burning on a tarp on a rural road in Beggs after they were supposed to be properly cremated.
The remains of the animals were found by an off-duty Okmulgee County Sheriff's deputy on Sept. 12.
The Tulsa-based pet cremation company Pets at Peace was responsible for disposing of the animals.
The owner told FOX23 that he didn't have anything to do with the incident because he contracted someone else to dispose of the animals.
Phil McArthur said that he was in the process of moving his business and he fell behind on his workload. He said that a friend offered to put him in touch with a contractor to help with the disposal services.
McArthur told FOX23 that he didn't know who the job was contracted out to, but he didn't intend for them to wind up in Okmulgee County.
"I had no idea what was going on other than the fact that they were going to be disposed of and taken care of," said McArthur.
He said that he didn't want to jeopardize the business that he has run for 12 years and wants to restore trust.
"I've come forward and not hidden behind anything because I have nothing to hide," said McArthur.
The Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office has turned the investigation over to the Okmulgee County District Attorney's office.
McArthur said that he was shocked to hear what happened, and so are his former clients.
Trish Muir reached out to FOX23 after she saw what happened in Okmulgee. Her English bulldog, Patches, was cremated at Pets at Peace when she died of cancer in March.
"She was our life," said Muir, "That was hard enough."
Muir said the whole ordeal instilled fear and she wanted to know how long the service had been contracted out for. McArthur told FOX23 that he had only utilized a subcontractor once, in September.
McArthur said all that he can do is apologize and he realizes that hiring a subcontractor was a bad decision.
"I had no knowledge of this, bottom line, "said McArthur, "I got caught up in something I shouldn't have been caught up in and I should have been smarter."
The Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office has not yet released the name of the subcontractor.