Harrison Co. Horses Seized In Animal Neglect Investigation Feb 26, 2015 6:16 PM EST
An animal neglect investigation is underway after neighbors called authorities when four Harrison County horses wandered outside their fence.
When investigators made their way to the farm, they ended up seizing every animal on the property. Officers say the other animals on the Hendricks Lane farm were living with no shelter food or water. Two of the horses required immediate medical attention due to malnourishment.
The owner, who asked that her name be withheld, said the entire incident was a misunderstanding. She says that the icy weather made it difficult to get to her animals but she was still caring for them.
"These horses are my children I do have a child in college, but these animals are just my children,” says the owner.
The owner tells LEX 18 that she was on her way to bring the animals food and water when she wrecked her truck.
PENDLETON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) -
49 horses were found dead at a Pendleton County farm on Monday.
Animal Control and Emergency Management responded to 2239 Ky. 117 in Butler City after an anonymous tip alerted them of dead horses on the property.
Authorities said Larry Browning, who owns the property, will be charged with 14 counts of second degree animal cruelty.
Thirty-five horses were found still alive on the property. Officials said 14 horses are being taken to safe locations throughout Kenton County to be treated for malnourishment.
Officials say Browning is only charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty because of the 14 malnourished horses taken from the property.
Authorities said they are waiting to determine the exact cause of death for the 49 horses before filing additional charges.
Larry Browning freely admits that some of the horses on his farm in Pendleton County look sick and malnourished.
He says there's a reason why he has so many horses, though. Browning tells FOX19 that people in Pendleton County know he'll try to care for them.
"In the last two years, I've probably had close to 100 horses dropped off. Now, some of them straighten up. I mean, I worm them all and I've got, well, this winter I spent two or three thousand dollars on hay," said Browing.
He went on to say that about four years ago, he took in some horses from the southern part of the state. He says he rehabbed many of them, and that now people who can't take care of horses use his property as a drop off point. He says it happens during the middle of the night, near his barn at the edge of the property.
"This didn't happen until they stopped the slaughter. Once they stopped the slaughtering, people didn't have an outlet for their old horses, crazy, or mean horses," said Browning.
He says as a result of tough economic times, many people around the area can't take care of their horses and don't know what to do.
"I just put up those no trespassing signs up here in the last six months. It hasn't helped. They are still dropping them off," said Browning.
Pendleton County has tried to fight animal cruelty for awhile. FOX19 has uncovered several documents from 2013 which outline tougher penalties and tighter investigations into cases of abuse.
Browing says he's not an abuser. Back in 2011, he faced similar charges, went to court, and won.
"What am I going to do? The animal activists, they'll do what they want to do. They say I'm harboring them, they're on my farm, so it's my responsibility," said Browing.
Investigations into Browning began in February after Butler residents complained of dead horses on his property, according to officials
The anonymous tip on Monday led them to visit the farm and charge Browning with animal cruelty.
His next court date is April 15th.
Man pleads not guilty to 15 counts of animal cruelty after 49 horses found dead on N.Ky. farm
BUTLER, Ky. -- A Northern Kentucky man charged with 15 counts of animal cruelty and 49 counts of failing to dispose of carcasses after officers found 49 dead horses on his Pendleton County farm pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday.
Authorities were called to Larry Browning's farm April 7 after receiving an anonymous tip of a dead horse in a field.
Animal control officers said they also removed 14 out of 32 horses that were still alive on the farm in the 2200 block of KY-177 in Butler, Ky. The 14 horses removed were emaciated, officials said.
Officers said there was not enough hay on the farm to feed all 81 horses.
According to Animals’ Angels Inc., a non-profit organization that investigates cases of animal abuse in the United States, this incident wasn’t the first time Browning was accused of mistreating his animals. Animals’ Angels reports investigators found about 100 horses “very thin, emaciated, lethargic and coughing” on Browning’s farm in 2011.
“Some were penned in an area used for manure disposal, standing on ground covered with manure and urine, their hay thrown on top of the filth,” the report states.
Animals' Angels investigators said they obtained photographs taken at Browning’s farm on June 15, 2011 that show “extremely emaciated horses.”
A Kentucky Department of Agriculture inspector later visited the property and reported there was "nothing alarming” and complaints were "unfounded," according to the Animals' Angels report.
Kathy Rice, who lives near the farm, said Browning is a horse trader and has owned the Butler property for more than 20 years.
She said she bought horses from Browning in the past.
“He's been doing this a long time… it’s his livelihood,” Rice said. "Any horse that I have bought from him has been healthy, strong and everything.”
Rice said people who cannot take care of their horses often drop them off at Browning's farm.
She said Browning might have become overwhelmed by the number of horses taken to his property.
“People come by who can't afford their horses anymore and just turn them loose in the middle of the night,” she said.
Rice said Browning feeds the horses well and disagreed with the charges against him.
“He has hay out here all the time,” she said. “He grains them every day."
Man charged with not caring for horses misses court hearing
FALMOUTH, Ky. —The man accused of abusing dozens of horses in Pendleton County was a no-show in court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday.
Larry Browning faces 64 charges connected to dead and malnourished horses found on his property but the case was continued because he didn’t appear for the hearing.
“Obviously I am unhappy with that. I’m trying to get these horses turned over to the county as soon as possible,” Pendleton County Equine Investigator Scott Pracht said.
The remains of 49 horses were found on Browning’s farm just outside of Butler, Ky., last month. About 15 horses were seized by investigators.
“It was definitely one of the worst I've ever seen with the amount of deceased horses on the property,” Pracht said.
The county is footing the bill for keeping the horses, including vet costs, grooming, food and water.
Pracht said every delay adds to the time and money the county is paying.
“That’s why we still need the donations because who knows how long this case is going to last if he keep dragging it out like this,” Pracht said.
Browning’s attorney, Stacey Sanning, said she has advised him not to comment on the case.
“The people are dropping them off,” Browning told WLWT’s Brian Hamrick last month about the horses.
Browning denied any allegation of abuse.
“I’ve actually traded ponies and horses for 50 years. I’ve never been accused of starving anything in my life. I don’t believe in it. I wasn’t raised that way,” Browning said.
That’s the same thing Browning said in 2011 when he was investigated when 10 horses were in such bad shape they had to be euthanized. Browning was not charged in that case.
A warrant for Browning was not issued but one will be if he misses the next hearing set for May 27.
Charges dropped in Pendleton Co. horse cruelty case
Jan 10, 2015 6:33 PM EST Updated:
Jan 10, 2015 11:28 PM EST
PENDLETON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - Pendleton County Prosecutor Jeff Dean made a plea deal with Larry Browning and his lawyers in the case where 49 horses were found dead on Browning's property.
Animal Control and Emergency Management responded to 2239 Ky. 117 in Butler City after an anonymous tip alerted them of dead horses on the property in April.
Thirty-five horses were found still alive on the property. Officials said 14 horses were taken to safe locations throughout Kenton County to be treated for malnourishment.
Browning was charged with 14 counts of cruelty to animals and 49 counts of failure to remove the carcasses within 48 hours.
According to Equine Investigator Scott Pracht, the plea deal was to dismiss all 14 counts of animal cruelty and merge all counts of failure to remove carcasses within 48 hours. Browning plead to an Alford Plea of 4 counts of failure to remove carcasses.
Pracht says Browning is allowed to keep the five horses he has and had to pay back the county $7,500 for the horses care during the case.
FOX19 NOW spoke with Pracht Saturday and he says the deal has him fuming.
"I'm very disgusted. I've been doing this for a long time and I've never run across a case where I've had this much evidence against somebody and for them to make a plea agreement without my knowledge," Pracht said.
The conditions of the horses made Pracht sick.
"You wouldn't believe it, I mean, horses entangled in barbed wire still decaying because....and ripped off all the tree bark because of the fact that horse couldn't get away, I mean, it's in dire mode. This is by far the worst case of animal cruelty I've seen. The most deceased animals I've ever seen on one single property," Pracht said.
More than a dozen dead horses were found dead at a Kentucky farm Monday.
Mason County Sheriff Patrick Boggs said he found 16 carcasses, fairly recent in their deaths, at the farm of Sam Jones, who is no stranger to the law.
For the 6th time since Christmas Eve, Mason County Sheriff's officials spent the afternoon repairing fences and rounding up horses that escaped from Sam Jones' farm. Sheriff Boggs said the horses were jumping the fences in search of food, and the ones that were found dead appeared to not have been fed properly.
"It appeared several of the horses were not being fed adequately," Boggs said.
Jones has a history of animal neglect. Sheriff Boggs said they have dealt with Jones as recently as six to eights months ago, and prior to that, at several different occasions.
Sheriff Boggs says his office won't stop working the case.
"We won't let it go. We are exhausting all means to take these horses off his hands to find someone to properly take care of them," he said.
Jones faces 16 charges of failure to dispose of a carcass and one charge of animal cruelty.
MAYSVILLE, Ky. -- Sixteen horses were found dead on a Mason County farm in Kentucky Monday.
Mason County Sheriff Patrick Boggs responded to the farm of George Samuel Jones on Key Pike after receiving tips of dead horses in the field.
But, this wasn't the first time that officers responded to this particular farm.
In 2010, Jones was charged with 30 counts of animal cruelty and six counts of failure to dispose of a carcass properly in 2010.
The charges were a result of an investigation after receiving tips of dead and mistreated animals -- similar to the tip reported to police on Monday.
The 2010 investigation determined 30 horses and donkeys on Jones' farm were neglected and left without food and water. Six of the 30 horses died.
As a result, Jones was given jail time and probation for two years. Boggs said Jones was recently released from that probation.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture laws for disposing of a carcass states specific ways for the dead animals to be disposed of and within a 48 hour time limit. The bodies found Monday were laying on the ground scattered across the farm.
In 2010, the six dead horses were found in a similar manner and Jones was charged for not disposing of them within the two day time frame.
Previously, Jones, 67, was filed against by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2008 for five issues relating to his farm including his equipment and inventory.
On Monday, officials removed seven more horses and mules from the farm for their safety.
Boggs told the Ledger-Independent that since Dec. 24, his department has responded to the farm for animals running at large four times. Monday's findings marked the fifth time police have been to Jones' farm in a week.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture and local police are investigating the case.
Three Horses Seized in Animal Cruelty Case , Three Charged
MADISONVILLE, Ky. (7/26/13) – In response to a complaint received in the
Hopkins County Attorney’s Office on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, three
defendants have been charged with Cruelty to Animals 2nd Degree and four
The Hopkins County Attorney’s Office was made
aware that at least one horse was being neglected at property located on
Randall Drive in Madisonville. Karey Roy Deardorff, Assistant Hopkins
County Attorney, has worked closely with investigators over the last 72
hours to get these horses into the protective custody of the Hopkins
County Humane Society.
“As both a prosecutor and a board member
of the Hopkins County Humane Society, I take animal cruelty cases very
seriously” stated Deardorff.
In late 2010, the Hopkins County
Attorney’s Office prosecuted a case in which 13 horses were found to be
severely neglected on the same Randall Drive property. “Due to the
history of these defendants, our primary focus is for the safety of all
the horses on the property” said Deardorff.
Earlier today, she
met with a Hopkins County District Judge to request not only seizure of
the horse on the property which shows immediately signs of neglect, but
further requested that the Hopkins County Humane Society be allowed to
seize all horses on the property.
If you are interested in fostering please contact the Hopkins County Humane Society at 270-821-8965.
Information provided by Robin Murray (Hopkins County Attorney’s Office)
Alleged horse neglect investigated on Woodford farm
Published: July 2, 2013
Officials with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Woodford County Animal Control are investigating an alleged case of neglected horses on property leased to once-prominent international trainer Wayne Murty on Old Frankfort Pike.
The 42-acre site in Woodford County is part of the former Hopewell Farm, which is in receivership and is scheduled to be auctioned July 16. In preparation for the auction, receiver Tim Cone obtained court authority last week to force tenants to leave.
On Monday, Cone said, he found the animal investigators at the farm. Cone said he is trying to sort out exactly what happened and could not say how many horses might be involved.
"I think maybe they had to put one down," Cone said. "It's not pleasant."
Murty did not immediately return a call for comment.
Woodford County Animal Control officials declined to elaborate because the case is open. State veterinarian Dr. Robert Stout could not be reached immediately for comment.
Woodford County Attorney Alan George said he will meet with animal control officers Wednesday to review the investigation. A decision about whether any charges will be filed might be made later this week.
Hopewell Farm, which was owned by Thoroughbred breeder Rick Trontz, once stood prominent stallions including Skip Away, Royal Anthem, K.O. Punch and others. The entire 587-acre farm, which is near WinStar and Three Chimneys farms, has been listed for $14.7 million. Skip Away died in 2010.
Animal Neglect Investigation Underway In Woodford County
Posted: Jul 2, 2013 3:54 PM
Investigators are checking out reports of neglect on a central Kentucky farm, where some horses had to be euthanized.
The open investigation is unfolding at Hopewell Farm in Woodford County. Investigators tell LEX 18 that nearly two dozen horses were found in deplorable conditions, living in stalls filled with feces. The animals also appeared to be very malnourished, and two of them have been put down.
Woodford County Animal Control and the State Agriculture Department received complaints about the farm Monday. It's being leased by the owner of the horses, which are in the process of being moved since the farm is for sale.
The owner of the horses declined to comment. At last word, no charges had been filed in this case.
Woodford County brothers plead not guilty to animal cruelty
Published: July 30, 2013
VERSAILLES — Twin brothers have each pleaded not guilty to seven counts of second-degree animal cruelty in Woodford County after emaciated horses were found to be in their care.
Otis Wayne Murty, 77, and his twin brother, Anson Duane Murty, entered not guilty pleas Monday in Woodford District Court. They are scheduled to appear again before Judge Vanessa Dickson on Aug. 19 after they have hired attorneys.
According to an arrest warrant filed in Woodford County, the brothers "jointly had charge" of about 30 horses, including mares and foals, at Hopewell Farm near Midway.
On July 1, complaining witness Susan Jones said she found 24 horses in a barn and five foals in paddocks outside the barn. Five horses were "observed ... to be in an obviously unhealthy state."
In addition, a 2-year-old filly was found "down and dying in the barn," and another 2-year-old filly, "found back out of sight on the property," was found to be down and dying.
"Both horses were deemed not saveable by a veterinarian" and were
humanely euthanized, the warrant says. "Necropsy reports indicated that
these two horses were emaciated at the time of death."
One of the other five sickly horses was found dead July 10 after it was moved to Bourbon County, the warrant says
Murty and his brother "each had said that a vet had recommended that
this horse should have been humanely euthanized months ago, but they
simply could not bring themselves to do so," the warrant says.
The remaining horses were put under quarantine, and their conditions are being monitored."Each
defendant accepted responsibility to the daily care of the horses,"
although Wayne Murty acknowledged that he was in charge, the warrant
says. Duane Murty was living in a trailer on Hopewell Farm.
two brothers were arrested July 25. Duane Murty was released from the
Woodford County jail after posting bond, but on Tuesday afternoon, the
jail website showed that Wayne Murty was still incarcerated.
Murty, a once-prominent international trainer, told the Herald-Leader
earlier this month that the horses became sick after consuming a toxic
weed called creeping buttercup.
Hopewell Farm, former home to 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away, was sold at auction on July 16.
Second-degree animal cruelty is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $500 fine.
Twin Brothers Make Unusual Court Appearance In Woodford County Animal Cruelty Case
It was supposed to be an in and out court appearance, but the
arraignment of twin brothers in Woodford County on animal cruelty
charges turned into an attempt to plead their case Monday.
From the beginning, 77-year-old brothers Wayne and Duane Murty seemed
confused about what usually happens during their first court
appearance. "Just listen to me now," the judge said. Duane then said, "I
plead not guilty." To which the judge said, "Will you listen to me
Both brothers were arrested and charged with seven counts of animal
cruelty stemming from allegations that animal control officers found 24
of the 30 horses in a barn living in stalls filled with dirty hay and
feces. Two horses had to be put down.
"Did you read your complaint and understand those charges?" asked the
judge. "I know what the paper says," said Duane. "I don't agree with
Both brothers also disagreed about their bond. Prosecutors say they
had a hard time tracking them down, due to the fact they've been living
in a camper that moves from place to place.
At one point, Duane said to the judge, "Excuse me, what did you say
honey?" The judge replied, saying, "I said your risk level, I'm not
honey. Your risk level is low moderate." Brother Wayne's risk level was
even higher. Both have a few failure to appear charges on traffic
related charges in Fayette County.
"Do you think I won't show up for the court date?" asked Wayne. "I
don't know if you will or not," said the judged. To which Wayne replied,
"C'mon. Our whole life's work is wrapped up in those horses."
Wayne Murty has told LEX 18 previously that the horses health declined because of a poisonous weed on the farm.
We Speak Up for Horses bound for slaughter and those neglected, abused, or discarded by rescuing and rehoming these horses. We also educate the public about horse slaughter, horse welfare laws, and what it means to be a responsible horse owner. Our work is driven by the belief that education seeds compassion, a life-long commitment to our horses and a respect for all life.
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