WEWOKA — A woman arrested on an animal cruelty complaint after authorities found about two dozen dead horses on her property has a previous felony animal cruelty conviction involving a puppy mill, according to court records.
Carolyn Vaughn, 37, was arrested Friday after Seminole County sheriff's deputies got a tip that there were dead horses at her property near Wewoka.
Seminole County Chief Deputy Chris Conn said deputies found a horrifying scene with 20 to 30 horse carcasses piled up and dozens more of malnourished and neglected horses. Authorities seized more than 130 animals from the property including 64 horses, 13 cows and 28 dogs.
The horses and llamas were taken to Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue in Jones, where they are recovering.
Conn said Vaughn also had goats, pigs, rabbits, chinchillas and an African gray parrot. Vaughn, who could not be reached for comment Monday, told deputies she was running an animal rescue.
“Mostly the cattle and the horses were the ones in bad shape,” Conn said. “We seized all the animals because she has a prior animal cruelty conviction.”
According to court records, Vaughn was convicted in 2012 of felony animal cruelty in Nowata County. Authorities were called in May 2010 by someone who tried to buy some dogs from Vaughn at a property in Nowata County and found they were in deplorable conditions.
A deputy who inspected the area where Vaughn kept 59 dogs found most were in wire pens, some of them with bloody paws from walking on the wire. Urine and feces was piled under the cages and had not been cleaned in some time. The dogs had water, but it was tinted green.
The deputy said in an affidavit that he became sick from the smell and the sight of the dogs' conditions.
Vaughn said another person she had hired to take care of the dogs had not done so. She was convicted in a jury trial in January 2012 and still owes more than $4,000 of the $16,000 she was ordered to pay in fines and restitution, according to court records.