NEW INFO: Couple Charged with Abusing Horses; Wife Speaks Out

By: Jeremy Edwards; Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jeremy Edwards; Jennifer Rizzi Email

UPDATE 12/3/13 @ 6:15 p.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) --Terry Dunn, who loves horses, says she couldn't stomach what she saw in a neighbor's yard.

"What I found was horrific," she said. "You can see their backbone showing and their hips sticking out. You can count every rib."

Putnam County Sheriff's deputies say four malnourished horses were seized from a farm along Custer Ridge Road.

John and Gail Cobb were arrested and charged with animal cruelty.

Deputies say a fifth horse was found dead, and no food or water was in sight. They say the horses had been eating snow.

Putnam County Sheriff Steve DeWeese says animal cruelty is a felony charge in West Virginia.

"Animals can't speak to you and tell you, so that's why you have to have vigilant people out in the neighborhood," he said.

Gail Cobb denies the accusations, saying she fed the horses regularly but some wouldn't gain weight.

She told WSAZ.com she loved them like children and is devastated that they were taken away.

"Two were fat as butterballs ... there was nothing wrong with them," she said. "The one that was dead on our property was just old and passed away on her own."

Dunn says she can't shake the image of the horses from her mind.

"Most people love animals, but just because you love them doesn't mean you can take care of them," she said.

Deputies say the horses are now under the care and supervision of a veterinarian.

Humane officers in Putnam County say this isn't the first time John Cobb was charged with animal cruelty.

They say he was accused of abusing a group of basset hounds a few years ago. They were also taken away.

Humane officers say he was forbidden to own animals, but Gail Cobb brought the horses to the farm when they were married.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two people have been arrested in connection with an animal abuse case in Putnam County.

John and Gail Cobb were charged with cruelty to animals on Tuesday morning.

Several horses were seized from their property on Custer Ridge Road near Buffalo on November 27.

Deputies say the horses were abused and malnourished.


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