SUFFOLK, Va. - The owner of five horses who were found starving and tied to atree off Wilroy Road in Suffolk last week has since beencharged.
Suffolk police have arrested and charged Jennifer Harrell withfive counts of Animal Cruelty, each of which carry up to one yearin prison, as well as a $1,000 fine.
One of the horses found had to be put down. The 2-year-old marewas in pain and could no longer stand, according to animalcontrol.
Three additional horses and a pony continue to recuperate at aHampton Roads farm after being rescued from unthinkable conditions.The farm owner, who asked not to be identified, said she's neverseen horses in such conditions.
"I was so shocked that someone would leave them out in themiddle of nowhere with nothing. There was no feed pens, bottles ofbeer, really all they had was tree bark around there," shesaid.
WAVY.com was there when the animals were found off Wilroy Roadlast week. All of the horses were found tied to trees with dogleashes, given buckets of fresh water, but no food. After our storyaired, a tip led Suffolk Animal Control to Harrell.
Now, under the watchful eye of their foster-caregiver, theanimals love to roll around outside and eat. However, the amount offood they eat is carefully monitored, because their stomachs can'thandle too much food at once.
"When we put them out in the grass, their heads never lift up.In here, it's their break and they'll eat a little hay," thecaregiver said.
The horses remain grossly underweight by more than severalhundred pounds. The two-year-old mare that was put down weighed amere 480 pounds when it was found. Feisty at first, she started togo downhill and had to be tethered to an IV line, unable tostand.
Suffolk Animal Control is footing the bill for the food,medicine and vet care. It will be months before the horses aregiven a clean bill of health.
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