Fletcher Kennel investigated following allegations of animal neglect

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 6:48 PM CST
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FLETCHER, Okla. (TNN) -The Fletcher Police Department is investigating allegations of animal cruelty and animal neglect at the City of Fletcher’s Animal Kennel.

It comes after a woman made a post on Facebook about the conditions of the kennel, and then took matters into her own hands.

“It wasn’t like a bark, it was like they were screaming for us to help them,” said animal activist, Candi Bridges.

Bridges learned about a situation at the Fletcher kennel after a friend sent her a post from Facebook.

She immediately gathered materials to go give to the four dogs being held there.

“There was not a single space where the dogs could have refuge that wasn’t covered in snow,” said Bridges. “Chain Link the wind goes straight through the entrance where the dog would enter the dog box, no flap, nothing that would stop it. Every water bucket was frozen, and there was no food.”

According to Bridges, the gates weren’t locked and there were no No Trespassing signs, so she and her son started to place hay in and around the kennel, along with food and water.

“Walking away, I couldn’t leave them,” said Bridges. “And it was negative temperatures. So I looked at my 13 year old and said, we’re taking these babies home for the night.”

She took all four, and the next afternoon called the City to tell them what she had done.

She says after speaking with the Mayor, talk of trespassing was brought up.

“I told him, that’s fine,” said Bridges. “I’ll take the trespassing ticket, I’ll take whatever you want, come arrest me.”

Mayor Herrin told us that the investigation is being completely handled by the Fletcher Police Department.

“We will be looking into it,” said Chief Jason DeLonais. “It will be a thorough and transparent investigation. And we take it very seriously, especially because what the complainant is alleging, is a felony.”

At this time, Chief DeLonais says he can’t say whether animal cruelty or trespassing charges will be recommended.

“There’s three sides to every story, Candi’s, or the complainant, the town’s and then somewhere in between is the truth,” said DeLonais. “And that’s what we have to find out before we can say we’re going to take action against the Animal Control Officer, or we’re going to take action against Candi.”

Bridges says she’s very concerned about one of the dogs, who had been injured before coming to the kennel, and hadn’t received treatment.

“These animals do not have a voice. They can’t talk,” said Bridges. “When you walk up, and you see the border collie just shaking and shivering, and it’s not a bark, it’s a scream. It’s worth it. I can take the slander, the ticket, the fine, the fee, whatever. I saved these four babies.”

Once the dogs are checked out, she already plans to adopt one of them.

The Chief has shut down the animal kennel while the investigation takes place.

The dogs will be taken to Rainbow Bridge Can Wait in Elgin as they investigate.

They’ll also work with them to house any future dogs they pick up for the time being.

The City of Fletcher has announced they will discuss the possibility of upgrading or relocating the kennels at the next Town Board Meeting, following the preliminary reports of the investigation.

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