An Oklahoma man is facing potential charges for animal cruelty after nearly 56 head of cattle in his care were found dead and hundreds of others in poor condition, reports Brandi Ball for Oklahoma News on 6

Rudy Fulton had 397 head of cattle on his 1,100 acres that three ranchers had sent to him to calve. One of the cattle owners from Iowa, Robert Dea, told Ball, "The guy was paid all up front for his services, the feed's still here. We gave him the money for the mineral; it never got spent on it. I don't know what he done. He won't tell us."

Dead cattle were found throughout the ranch, even in the water supply so the other animals could not drink. For many weeks, Dea and the other owners attempted to get in contact with Fulton and were told that he was out of the state. When Dea and the other owners went to load their cattle this week, they were turned away, reported Ball.

So far, Fulton has not been taken into custody, but has been cooperative, Sheriff's deputies told Ball. For each animal that was neglected, Fulton could potentially face a felony charge. 

"It hurts," Dea told Ball. "Not only the condition of the cows and what they went through, the money that's been lost. It's going to hurt us."