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Felony Cockfighting Activity

posted May 27th, 2020 by
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Former AG Asks U.S. Attorney to Prosecute

 

OKLAHOMA CITY, May 26,  2020 – Former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is asking  U.S. Attorney Brian J. Kuester to investigate allegations of ongoing trafficking of birds to Guam for cockfighting, for illegally possessing fighting animals, and perhaps engaging in other conduct at odds with state and federal law.  Mr. Kuester, based in Muskogee, has jurisdiction for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.  

The request follows an investigation by Animal Wellness Action and Animal Wellness Foundation that revealed that three of the top five shippers of birds to Guam, covering a three-year period, reside in eastern Oklahoma.  AWA and AWF allege, based on their investigation, that Oklahoma “may be the cockfighting capital of the United States.”  Attorney General Edmondson asked District Attorneys for Cherokee, Haskell, and LeFlore counties to investigate the allegations as well and to bring charges as appropriate.

Those individuals are John and Brenda Bottoms of Gunner Gamefowl Farm in Heavener; Bill McNatt of Cherokee Game Farm in Stigler; and Darrell Trammel of Moody Farm in Tahlequah. 

“The Eastern District is fraught with individuals who have been involved in the global trafficking and fighting of birds,” Edmondson said. “It is a felony under state and federal law to buy, sell, deliver or own any bird with the intent that such bird shall engage in a cockfight, and that’s clearly what we’re seeing. The three individuals identified in this investigation brazenly defy law enforcement officers. This deserves the attention of law enforcement officers and prosecutors, and that’s what we’re asking for.”

Through public records requests to the Guam Department of Agriculture, AWF and AWA obtained nearly 2,500 pages of avian shipping records dated November 2016 to September 2019. These records detail approximately 750 shipments of birds from more than a dozen states to Guam. 

In these documents, shippers described over 8,800 of the shipped animals as “brood fowl.”  There is no legitimate explanation for this volume of shipments. First, Guam does not have a significant animal agriculture industry or a show-bird circuit. Second, the ratio of roosters to hens in these shipments of brood fowl was nearly 10 to 1 with some shipments being over 100 to 1. It’s difficult to think of any animal agriculture industry that requires more males than females. Since it’s the males that cockfighters conscript for fights, and with standard breeding protocols calling for those ratios to be inverted, any reasonable person would conclude that the purpose of these shipments was primarily for promoting the cockfighting industry, which is robust on the island.

“Oklahomans voted in overwhelming numbers to ban cockfighting 18 years ago,” said Louisa McCune, executive director of the Kirkpatrick Foundation, which supports a number of animal welfare causes. “The record of these illegal shipments indicates that we have a sizable cockfighting industry operating in Oklahoma. It’s our hope that law enforcement takes very seriously any and all crimes involving the abuse of animals, including the breeding, selling, and shipping of roosters used for an unconscionable blood sport.” 

There have been a number of prosecutions of cockfighters in the state, including the most recent action in January 2020, when county authorities arrested two people after investigators stumbled across a cockfighting ring east of Harrah.

“Cockfighters are still at it in Oklahoma, and we hope our investigation prompts local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities to pull this illegal business up from its roots,” said Wayne Pacelle, founder of Animal Wellness Action. “The practice is cruel and barbaric, and long-distance movements of the birds threaten to spread avian influenza and jeopardize animal and human health.” 

AWA and AWF announced a rewards program to run for an indefinite time that provides a $2,500 reward for any individual who provides critical information that results in a successful federal prosecution of an individual or set of individuals who violate the federal law against animal fighting. 

Edmondson is co-chair of the National Law Enforcement Council for AWA and AWF.  During his time as Oklahoma Attorney General, he defended the law from constitutional challenges brought by cockfighters.  In Edmondson v. Pearce, the Oklahoma Supreme Court determined in a unanimous ruling that the anti-cockfighting law represents a proper exercise of authority and that cockfighting and related activities are forbidden in the state.  Numerous federal courts have upheld the federal anti-animal fighting law as constitutional.

-Emily Lang

TulsaPets Magazine May/June 2020

posted May 10th, 2020 by
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TulsaPets Magazine  May/Jun 2020

Publisher – Marilyn King  [email protected]

Creative Director – Sally Roper

Advertising Sales – Marilyn King, Steve Kirkpatrick, Rosalie Childs

Web Manager – Steve Kirkpatrick  [email protected]

Editor – Anna Holton-Dean

Contributing Writers – Marilyn King, Lauren Cavagnolo, Kim Doner, Nancy Gallimore, Mary Green, Anna Holton-Dean, Bill Snyder

PO Box 14128 Tulsa, OK 74159-1128

(918) 520-0611

(918) 346-6044 Fax

©2020 All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher.

TulsaPets Magazine May/June 2020 provides Tulsa area pet owners with a one-stop resource for local products, services, events and information.  Now TulsaPets Magazine Online is able to provide you with all of that and much more, interactive and up-to-the-minute!

Disaster Relief for Animals Awards $30,500

posted May 9th, 2020 by
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More Than $30,000 Disaster Relief for Animals Awarded to Mitigate the Financial Impact of Covid-19

(OKLAHOMA CITY) –The Oklahoma City Community Foundation, in partnership with the Kirkpatrick Foundation, is awarding $30,500 in Oklahoma Disaster Relief for Animal Support (OK-DFAS) grants to nine Oklahoma charitable organizations continuing to make an impact for animals throughout the Covid-19 emergency.
Established in late March in response to the Covid-19 disaster, OK-DFAS was designed to mitigate the financial impact of disaster on charitable nonprofits providing care for animals. To encourage donors to support OK-DFAS, the Kirkpatrick Foundation offered a dollar-for-dollar matching opportunity for donations to the fund up to $100,000 total.
“Every state should be so lucky to have this type of trusted philanthropic tool to help animals affected by disaster,” said Louisa McCune, Kirkpatrick Foundation executive director. “The additional support provided through the Kirkpatrick Foundation’s dollar-for-dollar matching opportunity offers donors a high return on their philanthropic investment, a rare thing in this economic climate. The cats, dogs, horses, wildlife and farm animals of Oklahoma are all better for the fund’s creation.”
The following organizations are receiving Oklahoma Disaster Relief for Animal Support Fund grants:
• Animal Aid of Tulsa | $3,500 to provide emergency medical care for animals that would normally be supported by the organization’s thrift store and adoption events.
• Forever Yours Dog Rescue | $4,000 to support the foster-based rescue program normally funded by local adoption events.
• Friends of the Shelter Foundation | $3,000 to purchase dog food, veterinary care and flee, tick and heartworm prevention medication for dogs.
• Nexus Equine | $2,000 to increase the organization’s ability to accept, care for and adopt out horses that owners can no longer afford.
• Oklahoma Alliance for Animals | $6,000 to support pet food deliveries as well as boarding and veterinary expenses for shelter dogs.
• Oklahoma Humane Society | $2,000 to purchase food and medicine for shelter animals.
• Pets & People Humane Society | $6,000 to offset lost thrift store income due to closure and increased staffing costs due to lack of volunteers.
• Thoroughbred Athletes | $1,500 to provide veterinarian services, rehabilitation and feed for horses.
• WildCare Foundation | $2,500 to purchase critical nutritional and medical supplies for continued care of their animals.

Grants Help Local Animal Nonprofits

posted May 9th, 2020 by
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Hello – I hope this email finds you well.

Two Tulsa-based animal support nonprofits – Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and Animal Aid of Tulsa – have received emergency response grants for support during COVID-19. Please find a press release for immediate release copied below and attached above.

Here is a quote from Oklahoma Alliance for Animals’ Executive Director Erin Shackelford, “We are incredibly honored to be awarded this Disaster Relief for Animal Support grant. The support from these two philanthropic organizations will allow Oklahoma Alliance for Animals to keep helping pets and pet parents in need across Northeast Oklahoma.”

We are happy to provide any additional information, quotes or photos you may need.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Erin Shackelford
Oklahoma Alliance for Animals
Executive Director

Staging Your Home

posted April 21st, 2020 by
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Staging Your Home

by Nick Burton

Staging Your HomeWhen you put your house on the market, one of the first things you should do is research everything you can about buying a home in your area. This will help you to better understand sale prices and compare your place with others. For example, homes in Tulsa have been selling for an average of $171,000 over the last month. If you want to get the maximum sale price, you have to focus on home staging. This not only extends to how you decorate but also how you handle staging when you’re a pet owner. Below are some ideas to help you properly stage your home so potential buyers can’t tell you have a pet.

Control odors. You may already know your house has a scent because of your four-legged friend, but if it’s hard to tell, ask someone to come over and assess the situation. Prospective home buyers who don’t have furry friends will immediately be able to pick up on any pet-related odors as soon as they enter a place. You can mask some unpleasant smells by sprinkling baking soda on problem areas where there might have been an accident.

Get rid of any stains. Like smells, stains are a major turn off to prospective buyers. If there are specific areas of carpet in your home that continue to hold stains, it’s time to get those professionally cleaned. According to HouseLogic.com, this can cost anywhere from $25 to $50 per room. If for some reason, you’re unable to remove those stains, consider installing new carpet. Again, the goal is to make this a home that they can see themselves living in, not a place where you live with all your pets.

Keep your place clean. Pet dander, especially for prospective buyers who have allergies, is not something you want to have lingering around your home. To avoid this, tidy up your place regularly so that pet hair doesn’t collect on the floor or furniture.

Choose a new location of your home for your pets. If you’re used to letting your pets hang out wherever they please, this can lead to cleaning on top of more cleaning. Save yourself the time and energy and select a space in your home to serve as your pets’ living quarters. Sure, it’s okay to let them out when you’re around, but keep in mind, any space they access should always be kept in tip-top condition.

Take your pets elsewhere during viewings. One of the most obvious signs that you have a pet, or that a pet lives in your home, is to actually leave your pet there during a showing. According to the experts, this can be a deal-breaker for some. Unfortunately, not everyone likes pets. Have a plan in place to get your pup out of the house for last-minute showings. Doing so will keep you prepared and put you in a better position to sell your home.

Staging your home is all about converting interested parties into buyers and assisting them in visualizing what their life could be like at your place. As the old saying goes, first impressions are everything. Unfortunately, if buyers can tell you have a pet, you’re more than likely not going to get the price you want for your home, and possibly, not even an offer. Remember, you may love your pets, but everyone else may not feel the same way. Stick with the basics: Keep things clean and pet-free.
Photo credit: Pixabay.com

TulsaPets Mag Mar / Apr 2020

posted March 14th, 2020 by
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20200315

TulsaPets Magazine  Mar / Apr 2020

Publisher – Marilyn King  [email protected]

Creative Director – Sally Roper

Advertising Sales – Marilyn King, Steve Kirkpatrick, Rosalie Childs

Web Manager – Steve Kirkpatrick  [email protected]

Editor – Anna Holton-Dean

Contributing Writers – Marilyn King, Heide Brandes, Lauren Cavagnolo, Kim Doner, Kristi Eaton, Sherri Goodall, Mary Green, Anna Holton-Dean, Bill Snyder

PO Box 14128 Tulsa, OK 74159-1128

(918) 520-0611

(918) 346-6044 Fax

©2020 All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher.

TulsaPets Magazine provides Tulsa area pet owners with a one-stop resource for local products, services, events and information.  Now TulsaPets Magazine Online is able to provide you with all of that and much more, interactive and up-to-the-minute!

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