Dozens of neglected animals rescued in Cabell County; many found dead

Published: Apr. 30, 2019 at 3:44 PM EDT
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Dozens of neglected animals, including horses, were seized from a home along Fairview Ridge Road in the Lesage area, Heart of Phoenix Equine rescuers said Tuesday.

They say the tally of severely malnourished animals rescued from the site is staggering – 35 dogs, 16 horses, three cats, two mules, two donkeys and a rooster.

Several dead animals, including dogs, horses and alpacas, also were found. Investigators say they even discovered the heads of animals on top of a barn, adding that the family claims they trade those animal heads for tattoos.

Investigators say some horses were in OK condition, thanks to spring vegetation, but overall the owners had only been feeding them inedible hay. They say another 15 horses are believed to be roaming many acres on the property.

The multi-day rescue operation began when people were complaining about horses and donkeys roaming freely on nearby roads. Upon returning to investigate, rescuers found severely malnourished animals.

Misdemeanor and felony charges are expected in the case. Two teenagers and three adults were living in the home, investigators say.

The animals, many of which are in critical condition, are being taken to rehab centers.

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