By Associated Press
Oklahoma City – State and agriculture officials say a lengthy drought that has scorched Oklahoma pastures and sent the price of hay skyrocketing is leading to an increase in abandoned livestock.
On Monday, Gov. Mary Fallin and Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese announced the launch of a program designed to help local law enforcement agencies pay for food and veterinary care of abandoned animals that are seized.
Reese says there is a particular problem with abandoned horses that owners can no longer afford to care for.
The program is designed to solicit contributions and provide financial assistance for local sheriffs who may be forced to care for abandon animals.
Much of Oklahoma's pasture land has been decimated by drought, and ranchers are struggling to pay for higher-priced hay.