When the original “Tiger King” docu-series came out on Netflix, it shocked the nation for more reasons than one. Carole Baskin and her husband’s mysterious death aside, it acted as an exposé for the world of big cats and exploitation. It accused Joe Exotic of abusing and even killing some of his animal during his time as a zookeeper. Now, a new story coming out of Oklahoma draws several parallels, sans the tigers.
A tip led local police to a house in Collinsville, Oklahoma. Upon arrival, they found 160 animals in “deplorable conditions.” They arrested a man named Samuel Anthony Smith in connection with the crimes.
Local Officials Intend to Prosecute the Man to the Fullest Extent of the Law
The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office says they plan on charging the Collinsville homeowner with more than 160 counts of animal cruelty based on what they saw upon their initial inspection of the property. The bust happened shortly after the police received a tip about animal cruelty from an unnamed source.
“We received a tip, that the animals here at this home, on the outskirts of Collinsville were not receiving the care that they needed and that they were in deplorable conditions,” Casey Roebuck said.
Roebuck works with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.
Hundreds of Animals Saved from Horrible Conditions
Authorities arrived on the scene of the property to find chickens in cages. Some even shared cages with other deceased chickens. A quick scan of the premises also revealed goats and donkeys, many of which lacked access to water or food. Deputies reportedly heard someone within the home, so they immediately left to secure a search warrant.
“We really dug in and saw what we found in this home we were pretty shocked by what we found on the inside,” Roebuck said. “They were very hungry; they were very thirsty. These animals did not receive the care that they needed.”
Of the 160 animals that officers found, 15 were pronounced deceased. Officials said some of these animals died recently, while they found many others in a state of decomposition. After they conducted their full search, officers also noted the presence of a pigeon and a couple of egg incubators.
“We were extremely surprised by the sheer number, especially of the chickens, it seemed like every time we would open up one more enclosure, there were just more and more of them,” Roebuck said.
Where the Animals Are Now
“These are not conditions in which any animal or human should live so based on that the animals have been taken to the Humane Society. They will be kept as evidence in this investigation,” Roebuck said.
Samuel Anthony Smith remains in jail held on a $320,000 bond. That’s $2,000 for each of the 160 charges.