Lexington Animal Shelter under investigation again

LEXINGTON, Okla. (KFOR) — More news is coming out of Lexington as the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office announced they are launching another investigation in the Lexington Animal Shelter.

Lexington community members shared photos and videos with News 4, showing animals in their cages laying in their own urine and feces.

However, Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Johnson says those allegations aren’t true and they have nothing to hide.

He gave News 4 a tour of the shelter. It is tiny, old and rundown. It is also right next to the city’s water plant.

There were two dogs inside and their cages were relatively clean, but there was liquid covering the floor and we were told it was water.

Chief Johnson says the new investigation will give the same results as the last—no violations to be found.

“I know recently there has been this incident last month that happened north of town here on the north side of town,” Chief Johnson said. “Then after that, all of a sudden we’re reopening an investigation that was closed five, six months ago.”

Chief Johnson says it’s peculiar that after an incident with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office last month, they chose to open another investigation into the Lexington Animal Shelter, after the first one they did found no violations committed.

“I was told through their investigation, into the county’s investigation, they saw no wrongdoing,” Chief Johnson said. “There was no criminal acts being performed or anything like that.”

“We did not cover anything illegal at that time, although I did have grave concerns over the way these animals were treated,” said Chris Amason, Cleveland County Sheriff. “To me, in my opinion, it’s inhumane. We as a society need to do better.”

Neighbors concerned over animal shelter conditions in Lexington

The AEMS Division also conducted an investigation and concluded it saying:

“At the time of the investigation, no violations were identified related to laws and rules governed by the AEMS Division.”

However, Sheriff Amason says new photos and videos shown to him have him concerned.

“It was just recently when these came again. They came to light and some new allegations and some new videos and photos have come to light that had caused us concern, and not just about the legality of this, but also about the inhumane treatment of these animals,” Sheriff Amason said.

Animals laying in their own urine and feces are just some of the allegations, but community members have also told us the shelter euthanizes dogs by shooting them.

Chief Johnson says that is not true.

“The only time that I’m aware of that, any animal has ever been shot in the head anywhere in my career has been in incidents where there’s an immediate need for if the animal gets hit by a car, by a truck or something out on the road, it can’t walk or anything,” Chief Johnson said.

Chief Johnson doubles down saying the CCSO’s investigation will not find anything illegal or criminal going on.

“That’s why I bring you all down here, because there’s nothing here to see,” Chief Johnson said.

News 4 also spoke with Paula Stanford, a member of the Lexington Animal Welfare Committee, which was voted on and approved by Lexington City Council in November, after the first investigation concluded.

She said their duty is to assess the current shelter and see where improvements can be made. She adds that their current spot is not the greatest, so they are in the process of looking for land to buy to build a new facility.

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