We are called the Tulsa Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – but what does that mean?
One of the services we offer is cruelty investigation. Community members can make a report of neglect or cruelty on our website and our Cruelty Investigator, Tim Geen, will follow up. Sometimes that means educating pet owners on legal requirements, often that means providing assistance to get things back on track but sometimes that means getting local law enforcement involved.
Here in the city of Tulsa, there are ordinances that pertain to pet ownership. Your animal must be licensed with the city, have a current rabies vaccination, and be spayed/neutered by the age of six months. If your animal spends time outside, you are required to provide a moisture-proof and wind-proof shelter, and it must be kept clean from waste material and trash.
There are a variety of other ordinances regarding animal abandonment such as keeping an animal for the purposes of fighting, and limits on the number of animals that can be in a household.
Tim is well versed in these ordinances and assists hundreds of community members each year. In 2020, we received 604 reports of no food or water and 195 reports of no shelter. While investigating these reports, Tim has important conversations with these pet owners to make sure they understand their responsibilities.
In conjunction with investigating possible cruelty or neglect reports, Tim also helps provide other items to pet owners – dog houses, food, and preventative medications. In 2020, we distributed over 42,000 pounds of food to assist animals in need. We are able to do this through generous donations from our loyal supporters. While we were closed for part of 2020, Tim helped our clinic staff deliver heartworm and flea/tick prevention medications to current clients who wanted to be sure they kept their dogs and cats up-to-date on their protection.
It may seem Tim’s job is mostly difficult conversations, but there are many positive outcomes he is witness to. His favorite part of the job is the follow up after an initial complaint – once a pet owner understands their responsibilities, the love they have for their animal is a great reward. Tim does not have legal authority to act on cruelty issues but instead must work with owners to ensure success or make the decision to turn his report in to law enforcement officials who can take legal action. Educating a pet owner allows them to keep their beloved pet and makes sure everyone is happy.
More than anything, Tim wants the public to be aware of the various animal laws. Not many people know the requirements and this can lead to disappointing outcomes. We want to share some links below that will outline the various ordinances here in the City of Tulsa as well as Oklahoma.
Tulsa Animal Ordinances: https://library.municode.com/ok/tulsa/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=CD_ORD_TIT2AN
Oklahoma Statues: https://www.animallaw.info/statute/ok-cruelty-animal-facilities-protection-actconsolidated-cruelty-laws