36 dogs found locked inside U-Haul

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 10:58 AM EDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) - Animal welfare officers made a shocking discovery inside a U-Haul parked overnight at an Oklahoma Walmart on Monday.

“We discovered 36 dogs had been left inside there. So, several of the dogs, about three or four dogs, were in heat distress,” Jon Gary with the OKC Animal Welfare, said. “And so we had to start taking procedures immediately.”

Officers had been called to the scene in the middle of the afternoon heat.

“You know, it’s probably going on about 10 hours or so, eight to 10 hours, that they were in there,” Gary said.

All of the dogs were found alive, but one later had to be euthanized after its organs began to fail.

“We had the one that unfortunately, we thought he had gotten through it, but he just went into some other side effects from heatstroke,” Gary said.

According to the police, the temperature outside was 84 degrees when the rescue happened. The U-Haul was parked in the sun and inside it was more than 100 degrees.

“People leaving dogs in cars, it only take seconds for, you know less than a minute, for dogs to become into heat stress,” Gary said. “And actually, probably just minutes before their situation where it can be deadly for them.”

Animal welfare said inside the U-Haul, cages were stacked on top of one another, with puppies laying down, panting and sweating profusely.

They said the conditions of the kennels were filthy and the odor was “overwhelming.”

“Many of the dogs were kind of urine-soaked from being left in kennels and crates inside there, so we had to get them cleaned up,” Gary said. “They’ve only recently been groomed, we did that whenever they got here, just because they were matted and had urine on them.”

Dexter Manuel and Linda Manuel were both arrested on 36 counts of animal cruelty.

Animal welfare says they were already working on a cruelty case at their home when they made the U-Haul discovery. They believe the couple was running a puppy mill.