Friday, July 24, 2020

Couple Charged With 30 Animal Cruelty Counts

Tamara Turman                            Wesley Chronister

Official charges have been levied against the Sallisaw couple accused last week of operating a puppy mill.

Wesley Chronister, 60, and Tamara Turman, 60, were each charged with 30 counts of cruelty to animals. Each charge is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment for up to five years or both.

Chronister was also charged with abuse/exploitation/neglect of a vulnerable adult, a felony that carries a penalty of imprisonment in the Department of Corrections for up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Deputies originally went to the home in response to a domestic disturbance there. The victim had been assaulted by Chronister and was cut and bleeding. While the deputies were assisting Finnell, they discovered 20 dogs inside the living area. There were four dogs in plastic totes, two of which were in the same tote and one was not recognizable as a dog.

Deputies called on Randy Freeman to come assist with the seizure of the animals. Freeman said he counted about 65 dogs, at least 30 of which were in bad shape.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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