Animal welfare groups work to protect Oklahoma animals

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 6:48 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Oklahoma (KXII) - Three animal welfare groups worked together to launch a campaign, “Cruelty isn’t OK”, Wednesday morning to prevent animal abuse in Oklahoma.

Animal Wellness Action president Wayne Pacelle says Oklahoma’s lack of regulation is why people like Joe Exotic can keep parks open-- despite how they treat the cats.

“The most glaring one in our mind is the exotic animal issue," Pacelle said.

“If these private entities cant sell them to a zoo, they will simply kill them," former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson said.

Christine Dorchak, President of Anti-dog racing group GREY2K USA Worldwide, said their own undercover investigation shot video proof of law enforcement officers baiting racing dogs with live rabbits.

The practice is called live luring, and it’s illegal in Oklahoma. But so far, no one has been arrested.

“These are serious crimes and they deserve serious treatment," Dorchack said.

Edmondson said that despite it being illegal as well, Oklahoma is the cockfighting capital of the United States.

“We fought a number of legal battles to get that done," Edmondson said.

He said Oklahoma also illegally ships more of the fighting birds to Guam than any other state, but there have been no reports of arrests in Oklahoma’s cockfighting community.

“It’s wrong," Edmondson said. "Its a blood sport. It’s vicious and cruel to the animals, and its a violation of federal law.”

He says Oklahoma policies should reflect Oklahoma morals.

“This is not the kind of business and publicity that will attract people to Oklahoma,” Edmondson said.

That’s why the animal rights groups have teamed up for their “Cruelty isn’t OK” campaign.

They will be pushing for authorities to better enforce current laws, and lobbying for policies to fill in the gaps.

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