By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — An Oklahoma City man has been ordered to appear in court on May 21 on a Payne County charge accusing him of failing to provide necessary medical attention, shots, food and water to two dogs kept inside his apartment when he lived in Stillwater last year.
Adrian Lamont Burton III, 26, was arrested on a Payne County warrant in Oklahoma City in January and released from jail in February on $5,000 bond on a felony animal cruelty charge.
Stillwater Animal Welfare Officers Ron Fury and Savanah Kilby went to The Reserve apartment complex on N. Perkins Road on Oct. 9, 2019, regarding a report of two abandoned dogs in an apartment, an affidavit said.
Burton and his two male roommates did not know each other, but were assigned to the apartment by management, an affidavit said.
Burton’s two roommates said “their other roommate, Adrian Burton, works out of town and is often gone from the apartment,” the affidavit said.
“They each have their own rooms but share a common area,” Stillwater Police Detective Sherae LeJeune wrote in an affidavit.
Burton’s roommates “were aware Adrian has two German Shepherd/Husky mix dogs that he keeps in a wire crate in his bedroom,” the affidavit said.
One of Burton’s roommates said “he returned home on Monday, Oct. 7 to a ‘horrible’ unknown odor upon entering the apartment. The following morning, the odor was still present. He knocked on Adrian’s door to investigate but there was no response. On Wednesday, Oct. 9, he knocked on Adrian’s door and again there was no response. The odor was described at that time as unbearable,” the affidavit said.
The roommate “had not seen Adrian in over two weeks and he assumed he took his dogs with him, since he had not heard them bark or cry. He opened Adrian’s door to make sure the dogs were not left unattended all that time. He discovered they were in fact in the room, still in a wire crate together with no food or water,” the affidavit alleged.
The roommates reported their findings to management, which contacted Stillwater Animal Welfare, the affidavit said.
The dogs were in a small wire crate together with no food or water bowls, the affidavit said. Feces and urine had soaked into the carpet, the affidavit said.
“Their hip bones and ribs were protruding. Their coats were matted and sticky with urine and feces. It appeared the dogs attempted to eat from a bag of trash that was discarded next to the crate. It was obvious the dogs were malnourished.
“The dogs were seized by Animal Welfare for their safety. They were released from the crate and walked out of the apartment. The male dog was swaying while walking and had extremely long nails,” the affidavit alleged.
“Both dogs were immediately transported to Cimarron Animal Clinic,” where they were examined by veterinarian Brian Pitts, who said the male German Shepherd/Husky mix weighed 19.8 pounds and was about 20 pounds underweight, the affidavit said. A veterinary technician said the dog “had likely been left in a crate for long periods of time as his legs were splayed and squatting,” the affidavit said.
The female German Shepherd mix weighed 24.5 pounds,” and was about 20 pounds underweight, the affidavit said. Both dogs were described as very thin and unkempt, the affidavit said. Both dogs were estimated to be one and one-half to two years old, the affidavit said.
“On Oct. 10, 2019, Adrian contacted management of The Reserve. He advised he left town on Oct. 2 and was going to return on Oct. 11 or 12. On Oct. 14, Adrian responded to the Animal Welfare to inquire about his dogs. He was informed the dogs were removed from his apartment due to deprivation of food and water.
“Adrian said he saw the dogs on Oct. 7 and they were fine,” although Animal Welfare staff told him that the dogs were gravely underweight, the affidavit said.
“He was informed that the dogs would not be released to him at that time due to concerns for their safety in his care. Adrian stormed out of the office — cussing and yelling,” the affidavit said.
“This case was presented to me at a later date for review. On Nov. 8, 2019, I contacted Adrian by phone to speak with him about this case. We set up a time to meet on Nov. 12; however, he failed to show up or return my phone calls,” the detective wrote in her affidavit.
“Both dogs have remained at the Animal Welfare Shelter pending the outcome of this case,” according to the affidavit.
If convicted of cruelty to animals, Burton could be imprisoned for as long as five years and fined $5,000, court records show.