Written by Michelle Kretzer
to barren, muddy pens with no protection from the elements, no food, and no
water, the nearly 70 dogs owned by Cajun Country "Ranch and Animal Rescue" in Wilburton, Oklahoma,
were struggling to survive. Their skin was stretched tightly over their rib
cages, and fleas and ticks had ravaged their bodies. The horses on the property
fared no better, their bones clearly visible. The bones of dead dogs lay piled
up like leaves, and more bones were scattered throughout the property.
PETA received a tip-off, we alerted local officials, who told us that they
shared our concerns. One of our contacts in the area was an expert on hoarding situations, and after
he surveyed the property for us, he confirmed our fears about the "rescue."
next day, armed with a warrant, police raided the property and arrested the
owners, Anne Marie and Shane Duhon. According to news reports when police entered the
couple's home, they found three children living in squalor. Animal feces
covered the house, including the children's beds, and cockroaches crawled
across the littered floor. Reportedly, the children were covered with bites
from fleas, ticks, and other insects. While the Department of Human Services
took the children to a safe location, a multitude of volunteers, mobilized by
PETA supporters in the area, came in with horse trailers and kennels and moved
all the animals to awaiting reputable rescues and animal
of the animals were so far gone that they needed to be euthanized. At
trial, the Duhons pleaded
guilty to child neglect and
cruelty-to-animals charges. They were put on probation for five years, banned
from having any animals during that time, and told that if they violated the
terms of their probation, they could face prison time.
While animal hoarding
behavior stems from a desire to "save" animals, hoarders' mental
illness causes them to keep amassing animals, and well-meaning people encourage
hoarders by giving them animals and/or money. They end up with far more animals
than they are capable of caring for—with disastrous, deadly consequences for
their victims. If you suspect that a local "rescue" is actually a
hoarder, alert animal control or PETA immediately.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.