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Welcome to the Joseph Adetula Foundation Official Website

Making a Difference

It’s the 4th of July, 2005 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is a night for celebration in most homes. It’s a time when most families are happily enjoying each other’s company. This is not true for the family of Dayo Adetula. This night, tragedy has touched his family.

His son, Joseph, was walking home from the convenience store. He never made it there. He was shot nine times by unknown killers at approximately 8:40 pm. His life was abruptly ended at the prime of his life. Joseph was eighteen when he passed away.

It is a nightmare that his loving family has yet to recover from. They are unable to get over their grief because to this date their son’s killers have not been identified. All they could find out was that the killers used a tan or gold vehicle. There have been witnesses to come forward and help them find out who did this.

The police have also been unable to make much headway in this case with so little evidence and no one who can give more information on what actually happened. Detective Jeff Felton has asked anybody with any knowledge that may help the police to close this case to please contact him. They are guaranteed anonymity so that they need not be afraid to talk and help bring these people to justice.

What makes the families grief even harder to bear is hearing news such as the case against Mr. James Yang, who has been charged with animal cruelty in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Here, even with all the evidence showing that he was doing nothing more than protecting his property, Mr. Yang is facing trial on September 13, 2006 for shooting 2 dogs that trespassed on his property and were harassing his livestock in the middle of the night late in March.

So much attention was given to the death of the two dogs that Mr. James Yang may end up in prison, justly or not. Joseph Adetula is a person, not a dog, yet no one will pay for the crime. The killers continue to roam free, justice un-served.

Losing a loved one is never easy, human or animal, but aren’t our children more precious to us than our pets? There is no greater pain to a parent than losing the child that they thought would outlive them. It is difficult enough to deal with losing them, but when they are lost so senselessly, so abruptly – no words can express the depths of their sorrow.

Joseph Adetula was the victim of a senseless, violent crime – a drive by shooting. His killers are most likely also in their teens. That is another tragedy – that the children are growing up to believe violence is ok.

The Adetula family has created the Joseph Adetula foundation that aims to turn young people into the positive leaders of their communities by helping them achieve positive futures by showing them how much the youth matters; and how to avoid the negative things tempting them everyday. The foundation also aims to help other victims and families heal from similar tragedies, as they too grieve and try to make a difference through their son’s loss.

Our Motto,"For every hurt there is a helper"

Cruelty to Animals or Protecting Private Property

Mr. James Yang is a resident of Webber Falls. He is an immigrant to the United States. He wanted to live the American dream and three years ago he bought his farm. Now at 43 years of age, he has care of 100 cows, 50 calves and 50,000 chickens.

Raising cattle is no easy business and it calls for him to works every single day of the week. He’d been having problems with dogs harassing and even killing his calves. So when he observed two dogs chasing his livestock, he shot them in order to protect his property.

Muskogee County Under sheriff Juston Hutchinson reported that four men decided to go and hunt coyotes southwest of Webber Falls using their dogs late in March. A couple of them ran on to Mr. Yang’s property and shortly after, they heard gun shots. Using an electronic beacon on the dogs’ collars, they tried to track the dogs. They found one but were unable to find the other since the signal died before they could get to it.

Under sheriff Hutchinson reported that when asked about the dogs, Mr. Yang denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of the dogs. Mr. Yang later admitted to investigators that he burned the second dog, including its collar. Mr. Yang told Under sheriff Hutchinson that he shot the dogs because they were chasing his cattle.

Mr. Yang has been charged with animal cruelty as well as a lesser charge of obstructing an officer. He was released after he paid a bond of $5,000. His hearing is set for September 13, 2006.

It just seems very unfair of the law to charge Mr. Yang with animal cruelty when clearly he was only protecting his property. The dogs should never have been allowed by their owners to trespass. Their very presence was disturbing his livestock.

Mr. Yang did not shoot the dogs to be cruel or to torture them, not even to maim them. He did not kill or destroy them to subjugate them. He did not hold them in captivity. These are all part of the stated definition of cruelty to animals. Since he did none of these, why was he charged at all?

He merely prevented them from inflicting further harm to his livestock; this is within his rights and is also stated in the law. Since the owners had not immediately come in search of their dogs, what was he to do with their bodies? He couldn’t very well leave it lying around. It would be disturbing to the other animals.

Should not the law have charged the owners of the dogs with negligence instead of charging Mr. Yang with animal cruelty? The whole situation could have been avoided if they had kept better control of their animals. They knew that the dogs had entered private property. It was up to them to ensure that their pets did not do damage. Dogs that hunt coyote are not mild mannered pets; which is why they are expected to have the necessary equipment such as the collar and its matching receiver. Instead they waited until the next morning before tracking down their dogs. Why did they not immediately follow the animals if they were truly out hunting for coyote?

Hopefully Mr. Yang will be cleared of all charges. It is difficult enough to make a living without having such situations thrown in to make life even more stressed and costly.

What do you do to keep your children safe?

Do you watch every move they make? Do you know their friends? Do you ensure they have safe places to play, go to school, and hang out?

I did. But my son Joseph Adetula is dead. He was the victim of a drive-by shooting. He was only eighteen years old, and no one knows why he was killed, or who did it. We may never know.

He was one of thousands of American teenagers and children killed every year in acts of violence.

I can't bring my son back. No one can.

But I can make things better for other children in our community, and so can you.

Today, when you look out your window, what do you see? Are your streets clean, well-kept, and filled with happy children playing, riding bikes, and having fun?

Or are they dark and depressing places, with weeds and trash everywhere, suspicious looking teenagers, and not a child in sight?

If you live in the first sort of neighborhood, you should count yourself fortunate. Many children in our city live in the second type of neighborhood. Some don't feel safe when they play outside. Others have family problems: single working parents, alcoholic or drug-addicted parents, or severe poverty.

Regardless of who these children are, they are all our children. It is our responsibility, as the adults of the community, to show them what they can be some day, to give them pride in their community, and to guide them as they become the new adults of all our tomorrows.

How You Can Help

Drive through the poorer neighborhoods of town and look around. Open your eyes. You may see run-down, dangerous playgrounds. You may see parks with not a single patch of green. You might see garbage on the streets, or weeds growing through old broken sidewalks.

What does this do to the children who live in this environment every single day?

Pay attention to the children, too. Are they happy and motivated? Do they do well in school, stay out of trouble, go to college to make better lives for themselves? Or are they dropping out to raise children or get jobs at fast-food restaurants and factories?

We can't fix the adults in our neighborhoods. But we can do things to show the children that we care, we are there for them, and we are willing and able to guide them. We can be role models. And we can all care for our city's children by giving them a better environment in which to thrive.

To do this in our world today, we need money. Money fixes the playgrounds, grows flowers and grass in the parks, picks up the trash and repairs the sidewalks. And money provides the children who would otherwise drop out with the places to go, things to do, and extra help and motivation that will get them to stay in school and make their lives everything we hope for them.

If you can't give today, at least look around and see the need. You can help today by being a good example, and by encouraging the children already in your life. But when you can, give to the Joseph Adetula Foundation. We are a 501(c)(3), 509(a)(1) under the National Heritage Foundation corporation, so your donations are tax-deductible. And even a little bit will help.

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Joseph Adetula Foundation
*a National Heritage Foundation
nonprofit 501(c)(3), 509(a)(1)
Tax ID #: 58-2085326


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