MARLOW, Okla. (TNN) - A Marlow woman is accused of murder and animal cruelty after a human body and a puppy mill were found on her property Friday.
49-year-old Karen Jean Pritchard is accused of killing 31-year-old Ashley Nicole Anderson, as well as keeping hundreds of dogs in terrible conditions.
Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney says Friday morning a person came to the Stephens County Courthouse to report a conversation they had overheard. They said a person had been severely injured or killed and dragged into a residence just north of Marlow. Deputies went to the home to talk with the owner, who denied knowing anything about it. So, deputies came back with a search warrant.
“In doing so we discovered a large number of puppies and dogs, which appeared to be a puppy mill. We launched another investigation due to the condition the dogs were being housed in, we’re estimating around 200 animals,” Sheriff McKinney said.
McKinney said as they were searching the property, they discovered the body of Anderson, who they believe was an employee of Pritchard’s.
“What we’re finding out in the early stages of this is there was some kind of argument, something occurred, and Mrs. Anderson was killed,” McKinney said.
Pritchard has been booked into the Stephens County Jail and now Sheriff McKinney says they are working on rescuing all of the animals.
“They breed puppies and sell them. You’ve always been told this, know where you’re purchasing your puppies from. These are deplorable conditions for these poor animals to be out in this kind of weather, in some of the conditions of the dogs, they seemed to be fed pretty well but they had no water, they’re dirty, nasty, covered in feces. Just some deplorable conditions,” McKinney said.
McKinney said Friday night they removed as many of the animals as possible but the community stepped up to care for the ones they couldn’t remove immediately.
“I couldn’t be more thankful to the citizens of Stephens County, especially of this Marlow area that stood up and brought in straw hay for bedding for the animals,” McKinney said.
McKinney said the remainder of the dogs will be removed on Saturday.