February 24, 2012
Albemarle County Police say they’re seeing an increase in the number of neglected and abused horses in the area. And in one of the most recent cases, one couple is facing charges.
Authorities say a concerned neighbor called police earlier this month and reported seeing a dead horse in a field at a farm on Jefferson Mill Road. But what they found was much worse.
Police tell CBS19 four dead horses, three of which were reduced to decomposed carcasses, were hidden under brush and sticks. Eight other horses were found malnourished, their bones visible and bellies swollen.
“With the dead horses, this was pretty bad,” said Larry Crickenberger, an Albemarle County Animal Control officer. “The quality of the hay there was very poor and there was no true grass. They were not getting any supplement feeding.”
Animal Control officers seized the remaining eight horses and are nursing them back to good health in a rescue area. The couple, whose names have not been released, have warrants out for their arrest.
Crickenberger says the struggling economy has led to a significant increase in the number of neglected horses. “It appears to be folks that want to try and do better for the horses, but in reality, due to the economy and lack of care, the horses end up going downhill,” he said.
Officers say the neglect and abuse has to stop. They’re prepared to charge anyone else who takes on a horse and leaves it to starve.