New Leash On Life Trains Shelter Dogs Through Prison Pen Pals Program

New Leash On Life
New Leash On Life

Mekusukey Oil Company founder Duke Ligon established the Oklahoma City-based company in 1970 and possesses more than four decades of experience in the energy and oil industry. Duke Ligon also serves on the board of directors for Heritage Trust, which supports various community organizations such as New Leash On Life, which aids Oklahoma residents and their pets. Its programs include the Pen Pals Prison Program.

The program prepares shelter dogs for adoption through mutual beneficial training sessions with prison inmates, who provide the dogs with the necessary training to become well-mannered companions. Over the course of 10 weeks, participating inmates receive a dog to care for and train with the assistance of experienced New Leash On Life trainers. Dogs live in the cells with two inmates who share training responsibilities for house breaking, basic obedience, and correcting behavioral problems.

New Leash On Life trainers visit correctional facilities on a weekly basis to conduct dog-training classes and instruct inmates on training techniques and proper care. The organization also pays for all expenses involved in caring for the dogs, such as food, treats, veterinary care, and other supplies. A graduation occurs at the end of the 10 weeks, during which inmates will hand over the dog to its new owners and receive another dog to train.

In addition to helping shelter dogs who may otherwise have been euthanized, the program offers several benefits to inmates. Inmates who participate in the program receive an opportunity to contribute to the community and learn valuable skills of patience and tolerance. Training sessions also promote confidence and empathy, as inmates share emotions with the dogs they work with and develop new ways of relating to others.


Melvin Moran – Portrait of an Oklahoma Philanthropic Leader

Melvin Moran pic
Melvin Moran

Oklahoma City-based Duke Ligon is the head of Mekusukey Oil Company, LLC, and a board member of several other energy-focused companies. Outside of work, Duke Ligon supports numerous nonprofit art and cultural organizations and is a member of the board of directors of Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole, Oklahoma, an organization that promotes learning through play.

The museum’s co-founder, Melvin Moran, is the subject of a 2010 biography published by the Oklahoma Heritage Association and promoted by the museum. Entitled Moving Heaven and Earth – The Life of Melvin Moran, the book details the life of a man who experienced the Great Depression as a child and later achieved prominence in the oil and gas industry.

Moran, a Seminole resident for most of his life, is the son of European Jewish immigrants. He served with the United States Air Force and met the woman who became his wife while stationed in London. Although Melvin and Jasmine Moran made central Oklahoma their home, their influence extends around the world.

The Morans were the major fundraising force behind the creation of one of the first museums in the country dedicated to the needs and interests of children. A quarter of a century after its creation, the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum continues to provide enriching experiences through its interactive replica of a functioning town, complete with opportunities for children to engage in pretend play as doctors, firefighters, government officials, and many other professions.

Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum Educates through Play

Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum pic
Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum

Duke Ligon, a noted energy sector executive and philanthropist in the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, area, serves on the boards of directors of oil and gas companies such as Blueknight Energy Partners and Emerald Oil. He also supports the efforts of a wide range of nonprofit and arts organizations both in and beyond Oklahoma City, including the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole. Thanks to the efforts of Duke Ligon and other donors, the museum is able to offer a variety of award-winning, interactive experiences for children and their families.

The Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum is home to imaginative, STEM-oriented exhibitions, including a make-believe town that lets children engage in play related to numerous jobs and careers in the adult world. There is even a make-believe surgical facility that features real film footage of medical procedures.

Melvin Moran, CEO of Moran Oil Enterprises, and his wife, Jasmine, established the museum more than 20 years ago, based on their vision of playing to learn in a colorful and engaging “Kid Town.” The couple, longtime Seminole residents and philanthropists, had seen a children’s museum on a visit to Michigan and wanted to bring the same experiences to the children in their community.

Today, young visitors to the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum can fight fires, fly an airplane, work in a hospital, go to court, or take a break from “work” by clambering around in the five-mile-long climbing maze.

Sister’s Fund Offers Prescription Aid for St. Anthony Hospital Patient


Sister’s Fund pic
Sister’s Fund

Duke Ligon founded Mekusukey Oil Company in 1970 and led the Oklahoma City company to become one of the largest private mineral owners in the country with more than 79,000 net minerals across more than 450 countries. Beyond his professional obligations, Duke Ligon serves as a member of the board of directors for the St. Anthony Foundation. The St. Anthony Foundation maintains several projects, including the Sister’s Fund.

The Sister’s Fund supports patients of St. Anthony Hospital and provides free prescription medication services to individuals receiving healthcare from the hospital. Donations to the fund help patients experiencing financial difficulties that prevent them from affording essential prescription medication. In addition, the fund offers short-term aid by connecting patients with other community resources.

Donors can choose to send one-time monetary gifts of any amount they choose or set up monthly gifts by selecting the Sister’s Fund as the gift designation on the online donation page. The minimum amount to fund a prescription for a needy patient is $20.

For more information about the Sister’s Fund and other St. Anthony Foundation projects, visit