UPDATE: Animal Cruelty Charges Filed Against Roane County Horse Owner

By: Alex Snyder Email
By: Alex Snyder Email

UPDATE 1/24/13 @ 5:42 p.m.
ROANE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charges have been filed in connection with a widespread case of animal abuse in Roane County.

Sheriff's deputies say Tory Morgan has been charged with 36 counts of animal cruelty. They are all misdemeanors.

Deputies found 16 dead horses on her property Saturday, Jan. 19. Twenty other horses were removed from the property and quarantined. Deputies say some of those horses were malnourished.

Morgan was arraigned Friday, and her bond was set at $90,000. She was being taken to the Central Regional Jail.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

ORIGINAL STORY 1/21/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
ROANE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Maureen Woltmann is a retired veterinarian technician and has four horses of her own.

So what happened less than a half mile from her house she calls a disgrace.

"There were very, very emaciated horses, very thin horses -- eventually I saw dead horses laying on the mountain," Woltmann said.

Twenty-two dead horses were found Saturday by the Roane County Sheriff’s Department in the Seaman Fork area.

"Where it was so hungry, it showed all of its ribs and its back, and I actually got sick to my stomach," an unidentified neighbor said.

"This is an animal that cannot fend for itself -- it's locked behind a fence with hay on the other side not being fed to it," Woltmann said.

Deputies quarantined another 20 horses and put them in the old livestock market in Spencer while they await results of blood tests from the state veterinarian.

"Abuse for a child, an old person, an animal -- it's against the law, it's against nature, it's against God. I'm sorry, it's just not right," Woltmann said.

And the biggest question is why. The sheriff’s department is working on charging the owner.

"I just can't understand why people have animals like that and don't take care of them," the unidentified neighbor said.

Deputies are asking the public to not visit the quarantined horses. But if you’d like to help, donations of hay and grain are needed.

To donate, contact the Roane County Animal Shelter or the sheriff’s department.

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