Couple facing charges after 36 dogs found locked in U-Haul

OKLAHOMA CITY — A man and woman in Oklahoma City were arrested and charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty after 36 dogs and puppies were found inside a hot U-Haul truck with no water or food, according to multiple reports.

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Oklahoma City police officers were called to a Walmart near N.W. Expressway and Council Road around 1 p.m. on June 5 to help Oklahoma City Animal Welfare officials, according to KFOR. Investigators were called by Walmart’s staff about a U-Haul that smelled like it was filled with animals, the news station reported.

When officers arrived, they found the U-Haul truck, which was not climate-controlled, parked in a spot that was not in the shade in the parking lot, according to KWTV. Officers cut the lock off the door to get inside, the news outlet reported. The thermometer inside read 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Inside the U-Haul, multiple cages were stacked on top of one another with dogs inside of them, police said, according to KWTV.

Officials found 36 dogs and puppies inside the U-Haul, KFOR reported. A report obtained by the news outlet indicated that some of the dogs had severe signs of heat stroke. No food or water was found inside the truck.

The dogs were eventually taken into the care of Oklahoma City Animal Welfare, according to KFOR.

Investigators used surveillance video to identify the suspects, KWTV reported. Officers on Tuesday arrested Dexter Manuel, 62, at his house. His wife, Linda Manuel, 61, was detained at the scene. Investigators determined that there was evidence the couple was running a puppy mill at their house.

The Manuels were arrested and charged with 36 counts of animal cruelty, according to KFOR.

It was not immediately clear what conditions the dogs were in after the incident.

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