- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

KINCAID, W.Va. (AP) - The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department and the Humane Society of the United States have seized five horses they say were suffering from severe malnutrition and neglect.

According to the sheriff’s department, officials executed a search warrant on a Kincaid property Tuesday morning.

Officers asked the animal’s owner to surrender and avoid arrest, but she refused. Tami Jo Bennett now faces animal cruelty charges. She was transported to the Fayette County Magistrate for arraignment and was released on $5,000 bond.

The seizure came after someone complained to the sheriff’s department on July 13. Fayette County Animal Control Officer Russell Parker and Deputy W.S. Casey investigated and found that horses on the property did not appear to have an adequate supply of food. Several horses appeared to be suffering from severe malnutrition and had been eating each other’s tails. They also appeared to be suffering from rain rot on their hides.

According to the sheriff’s office, on Tuesday five horses were examined by a veterinarian specifically trained in equine medicine and were then transported by the Humane Society to an undisclosed location.

Eleven horse housed in a second enclosure were examined but not seized, as they were in better condition. The veterinarian did recommend improvements to feeding, supplemental nutrition and the water supply. The sheriff’s office will be working with the Office of the Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney to insure that the recommendations are followed.

Animal Control’s Parker told the Register-Herald (https://bit.ly/2avEfTG) that six horses were taken from Bennett about four years ago. He said it was apparent that Bennett means well but simply cannot afford to care for the animals.


This article has been corrected to show that five horses, not more than a dozen, were seized.


Information from: The Register-Herald, https://www.register-herald.com

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