I want to express great appreciation and gratitude to numerous people who helped with the recent puppymill bust in Vinco.

There were so many people who helped these animals and I hope I haven't left out anyone.

First and foremost, I want to thank Deputy Brandon Myers, with the Payne County Sheriff's Office, for investigating a complaint that the Payne County Sheriff's Office received.

If it weren't for Deputy Myers' diligence and his thorough investigation, these innocent animals wouldn't have been rescued and would have remained in deplorable conditions.

I want to thank the rest of the Payne County Sheriff's Office, especially Undersheriff Garry McKinnis, for all their hard work and dedication, which ensured these animals were rescued, received the necessary veterinarian care and temporary foster homes.

I want to thank the Payne County District Attorney's Office, specifically Tom Lee, for ensuring that charges were filed and timely filing for the bond, which ultimately led to the forfeiture of the animals.

I hope a count will be filed for every single animal that was neglected and abused, especially a count for a puppy that was nicknamed LB by his foster parents that died before his life could really begin.

This innocent puppy held a very special place in my heart as well as his foster parents' heart.

I want to thank the media that ran stories regarding this incident.

Without your stories, the community wouldn't have known about these animals that needed help.

I want to thank Michelle, with the Perkins Animal Control, and Ron and Carla, with Stillwater Animal Welfare, for their assistance to the Payne County Sheriff's Office. I also want to thank Michelle for accepting several of the dogs into the Perkins Animal Control for fostering and adoption.

I want to thank Dr. Neer and all OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences staff, including the students and volunteers, who worked so hard for these animals.

These animals were first taken to OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences and were provided the proper and necessary veterinarian care. The OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences also offered to spay/neuter all of the adopted animals free of charge.

I want to thank local businesses that donated dog food and provided discounts for those who adopted the dogs.

The Payne County Sheriff's Office incurred approximately $3,800 for upfront necessary medical expenses for these animals and I want to thank all of the citizens who made donations to help the Payne County Sheriff's Office recoup those expenses.

If anyone else would like to make a donation to help the Payne County Sheriff's Office recover those expenses please mail donations to the Payne County Sheriff's Office, 606 South Husband Street, Room 106, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074.

I want to thank all the citizens who opened their home and heart to an animal in need and fostered the animals and/or adopted the animals.

Due to the hard work, dedication and compassion of so many people in this community, these animals were rescued, given the necessary veterinary care they had long been denied, and given a chance at the life they deserve. Thank you all.

Meghan Gates

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