Abe Thomas says he was visiting an Oklahoma animal control facility with the intention of adopting a dog. But what he found was a gruesome sight that has animal lovers up in arms: A dog eating her dead cage-mate.
“I walked over to the pen and noticed that her and another small puppy were eating on another dog. I noticed there was no food or water inside of there" Thomas told Louisiana-based outlet KSLA News. "They were living in their feces, urine and there was nothing there."
Thomas filmed the scene at the Idabel, Oklahoma, shelter on Tuesday and posted the footage to YouTube.
WARNING: Video is extremely graphic.
The footage outraged activists. As of Thursday afternoon, more than 6,000 people had signed a online petition calling for Idabel's animal control officer to be fired and prosecuted. A similar Facebook page also had roughly 2,000 Likes.
Idabel police confirmed to local media that the incident occurred, but denied that the shelter deprives animals of food, water or proper care.
"It sounds just kind of like a rare incident," Assistant Police Chief John Martin said to area news station KXII.
Idabel Mayor Tina Foshee-Thomas told the newspaper Tulsa World that there would be a "full investigation."
“Something will be done,” she said. “It just hasn’t had time to happen yet.”
Evan Fadem, manager of the Humane Society of Tulsa, tells The Huffington Post she's reached out to Foshee-Thomas and the police department -- under whose jurisdiction the shelter falls -- with an offer to help improve the facility. Fadem's plan includes taking and evaluating all the animals now in the Idabel shelter and helping set up new protocols.
So far, Fadem says, they've both declined her offer, but she hopes the city eventually accepts her group's "assistance and support." She's optimistic that as the outrage and scrutiny grow, they might change their minds.
"We're here and we're ready, willing and able to help them when they ask for it," she said. "It's sad and awful. But it's going to bring light. Something good will be able to come of it."
As for the dog in the video, something good has already come: Thomas adopted her. He brought the pup home and named her Joy, he told Tulsa World, because “she looked so joyful to be out of there.”
Neither the Idabel mayor nor the police chief responded to HuffPost's requests for comment.
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