Man facing animal cruelty charges in Boone County

Published: Jul. 11, 2018 at 11:39 AM EDT
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A man is behind bars and facing multiple animal cruelty charges after deputies say he neglected and starved four animals.

Deputies with the Boone County Sheriff's Office tell WSAZ they arrested Troy Wheatley, 37, Wednesday morning.

Officers were called out to an animal rescue organization in the Hurricane Branch area of Boone County Friday. They found three horses and a goat under Wheatley's care, all alleged victims of animal cruelty.

Deputies say the goat at the barn was tied to a tree and had wrapped itself around the tree several times, making the goat unable to access water.

Inside the barn, deputies say they found three horses without food and say the water in their stalls appeared to be stagnated.

The stalls had not been cleaned in a long time, deputies say, with horse manure that was higher than the ankles of rescuers.

Investigators say the horses looked malnourished, and on two of the animals, their ribs and hip bones were visible.

According to deputies, two horses immediately made their way to the grass and tried to graze after they were let out of their stalls.

Deputies also say they found a water hose running from the barn that was illegally connected to a water hookup.

Wheatley is charged with four counts of animal cruelty and one count of procuring utilities.