Sick and Injured Dogs Denied Veterinary Care at LeFlore County Puppy Mill; PETA Seeks Criminal Probe.

For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2024

Reed Bolonyi 202-483-7382

LeFlore County, Okla.

Damning, just-released federal reports reveal that a puppy mill near Howe operated by Angela Weaver has been cited by federal officials for denying veterinary care to sick and injured dogs and puppies and housing them in filthy, feces-filled enclosures. In response, PETA rushed a letter today to LeFlore County District Attorney Kevin Merritt asking him to investigate the facility and file applicable charges against those responsible for the animals’ neglect.

On May 7, federal inspectors found a dog with a facial injury so severe that his teeth and underlying tissue were visible through a 1- to 2-inch hole, for which Weaver hadn’t sought veterinary care. On February 1, inspectors found six puppies who were approximately 3 weeks old with eye and nose discharge, pale gums, and feces encrusted on their bodies as well as an adult dog who was limping from a red, swollen toe. Weaver, who hadn’t sought veterinary care for any of them, admitted that she didn’t know how to care for young puppies and hadn’t even noticed that they were sick. The inspectors also found a buildup of feces so severe that puppies couldn’t avoid stepping in it and 12 puppies confined to cages on a porch with no protection from the elements. 

“Miserable mills like this one treat dogs as mere commodities to be churned out as cheaply as possible, housing them in filthy, unsafe conditions and denying them proper care,” says PETA Vice President of Legal Advocacy Daniel Paden. “PETA calls on LeFlore County authorities to prosecute those responsible and urges everyone never to buy any animal from a breeder or a pet store.”

Reports show that Weaver’s puppy mill—which confined 91 dogs as of February—has accrued citations for 29 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act this year alone, including for housing at least 21 dogs in a building in which the interior temperature was nearly 88 degrees and housing dogs in rundown enclosures with rusty and jagged metal, insulation falling from the ceiling into their pens, and accumulated dirt, grime, mud, and standing water.PETA is pursuing charges under state law because the federal government doesn’t render relief or aid to animals during its inspections and these violations carry no criminal or civil penalties.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Merritt follows.

June 13, 2024

The Honorable Kevin Merritt

LeFlore County District Attorney

Dear Mr. Merritt:

I’m writing to request that your office (and the proper law-enforcement agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and, as suitable, file criminal charges against those responsible for the persistent neglect of dogs at a breeding facility operated by Angela Weaver at 37588 Wickum Rd. near Howe. PETA urges your agency to visit the facility with a veterinarian who has expertise in canine health and welfare to identify any animals in need of care and opine on the conditions of and for the approximately 41 dogs there.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) veterinary medical officer and two inspectors documented neglect at the facility in the attached reports. On May 7, they found a dog with a “torn lip and nose,” which left a “gap … large enough to show the teeth and underlying tissue normally hidden by the skin of the muzzle.” Weaver had not had a veterinarian examine or evaluate the dog for this painful condition. The same day, at least 21 dogs “showed signs of heat distress,” including “panting and … drooling” when federal officials found them confined to a kennel where the temperature was 87.7 degrees.

On February 1, federal officials found a dog limping, with a red, swollen toe on the left forepaw. The federal veterinarian noted that “[a]n injured or infected foot severe enough to cause visible limping is a significant veterinary health concern” and that the dog “need[ed] to be seen by a licensed veterinarian.” The agents also found six puppies with “ocular and nasal discharge, pale gums, and fecal crusting around the anus and tail,” who had evidently been denied veterinary care. The same day, 13 dogs were found with matted coats, which “can quickly lead to underlying skin abrasions and infections.” In addition, a dozen caged puppies were found deprived of shelter.

All these findings may violate Oklahoma’s cruelty-to-animals statute, 21 Okl. St. Ann. § 21-1685, which prohibits depriving an animal of “necessary food, drink, shelter, or veterinary care to prevent suffering.” The USDA has cited Weaver for 29 additional violations of federal law just since December 2022. The agency’s action renders no aid or relief whatsoever to animals on site, carries no criminal or civil penalties, and doesn’t preempt criminal liability under state law for acts of animal neglect. If you’d like to learn more about the USDA’s findings, please see the contact information for the office in Riverdale, Maryland, here.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Please let us know if we can assist you.


Elise Fisher

Evidence Analyst

Cruelty Investigations Department


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