Most veterinarians represent the best of humanity, men and woman that go into a tough and often unrewarding field of medicine to care for the least of God’s creatures. But, unfortunately, as in everything, there are “bad seeds” among vets as well.
Such was the case at an Oklahoma farm, where 168 animals -some showing signs of neglect and horrific abuse – were seized. And what makes it worse, the farm was owned by a licensed veterinarian.
Norman Animal Welfare took the animals from Aaron Stachmus’ farm about a month ago. New court documents revealed that among the animals seized were draft horses, emus, ostriches, tortoises, and dogs.
The documents also detail that “both horses had one eye missing” and “appeared to be in need of immediate veterinary care.”
The Norman Police Department said the animals weren’t provided adequate access to water, food, and appropriate shelter.
“We all work closely together to make sure animals, whether they’re native or non-native, everybody’s following the rules and those animals will be treated fairly,” said Micah Holmes, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife.
Last year Stachmus found himself in a similar situation when Norman Police took more than 350 animals off of this same property. In that case, from July of 2021, the veterinarian is already facing charges of animal abuse and animal cruelty. His wife Bryson Anglin was also charged in the July incident. All tolled 18 counts of alleged animal cruelty were leveled on the couple after law enforcement found over 356 animals at a different property of theirs on E Rock Creek Rd in Apr. 2021. Mark Parker, who the two hired to help care for their animals, is also named in those charges according to a Jun. 2021 affidavit.
Det. Kellee Robinson, with the Norman Police, described the conditions at the Rock Creek property. That affidavit mentions “extremely thin and malnourished” foxes and lemurs suffering from frostbite, among other cases of alleged neglect and maltreatment.
Those animals and the ones more recently seized are now in the care of various animal rescue groups.
Local papers and TV affiliates who reached out to Stachmus at his clinic were told he wasn’t available for comment.
A Google search reports that his clinic at 433 SW 89th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73139 is “temporarily closed.”
The Oklahoma Veterinary Board says he still has his license, but they’re waiting to see how his court case pans out. For now, he’s facing 10 years of probation, but that was on the original charge; how that may change in light of the more recent incident remains to be seen.
This is a developing story.