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354 exotic animals awarded to city; Oklahoma veterinarian ordered to pay 95K

Photos from Rock Creek Farm April 30. Photos from Norman Police.

354 exotic animals seized from an Oklahoma veterinarian’s farm have been awarded to the city of Norman. The owners of Rock Creek Farm, Aaron Stachmus and Bryson Anglin, have also been ordered to pay Cleveland County $95,773.08 for the care of the animals.

Stachmus and Anglin are accused of neglecting a variety of exotic animals at their fake rescue including lemurs, camels, reptiles, birds and others. The animals were deprived of food, water and veterinary care, according to court documents.

Agencies including the Department of Wildlife and Norman Police executed a search warrant at Rock Creek Farm April 30 and seized 354 animals. The animals were placed with the Norman Animal Welfare Department, animal rescue groups and community volunteers, court records say.

Court documents indicate the animals were so starved they were resorting to eating tree bark. Some animals exhibited untreated conditions including fur loss, overgrown hooves and malnutrition. Two animals died and several others required emergency medical treatment, court records say.

On May 7, Stachmus and Anglin relinquished ownership of the animals to the city. On May 21, a judge ordered Stachmus and Anglin reimburse the county for the cost of the care of the animals from April 30-May 7, totaling $95,773.08. The pair will be required to pay $5,000 per month and the court will retain jurisdiction over the case until the expenses are paid in full.

The Norman Police Department said the case is still open and criminal charges may be pending.

Stachmus is a veterinarian at Brookwood Animal Clinic, Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Veterinary Board Executive Director Cathy Kirkpatrick told Oklahoma News 4 the board is not conducting an investigation into Stachmus.

"It’s the public’s animals that we’re protecting," Kirkpatrick told Oklahoma News 4. "My understanding is that these are his own animals."


Application for bond hearing:

1049282602-20210510-141210- (1)
Download PDF • 326KB

Judges order:

Download PDF • 163KB


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