EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSANIMAL CRUELTY PLEA
from Eyewitness News Online
Roane County Woman Pleads Guilty To Animal Cruelty After Dead Horses Found
Reported by: Bethany Simmons
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Also Contributing: Bob Aaron, Kallie Cart
Reported: Feb. 28, 2013 4:05 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 28, 2013 8:19 PM EST
Reedy , Roane County , West Virginia
The Roane County woman who owned 16 horses that were found dead pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.
Tory Morgan pleaded guilty to 10 counts of animal cruelty in connection with the incident in a Roane County courtroom Thursday, officials with the Roane County Prosecutor's Office said.
As part of the plea, Morgan agreed to give up custody of an additional 20 horses that she also owned. The county will work to get those animals adopted.
Morgan was sentenced to 120 days in jail, but 75 of those days will be suspended. She will spend about the next two weeks behind bars, due to time she has already served and will be on probation for one year.
Morgan will have to pay about $2,000 in restitution for overtime that was paid to the Roane County deputy who took care of those horses. She will also have to pay $1,650 in court fees.
Deputies in Roane County have arrested a woman who is accused of severely neglecting 42 horses, most of which were found dead on her farm.
Investigators found 16 dead animals on Tory Shadowolf Morgan's Reedy farm. Morgan also claimed six others had been shot and put down.
They also found 20 surviving horses that were grossly underweight. Deputies say they found little feed or hay available to those horses. Workers with the Roane County Animal Shelter placed the surviving horses under quarantine because they entered the state from Pennsylvania without proper paperwork.
Morgan is charged with 36 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, which carry up to six months in jail for each charge.
Morgan's bond has been set at $90,000.
If you would like to help workers with the Roane County Animal Shelter take care of the surviving animals, just call them at (304) 927-2555. You can also call the Roane County Sheriff's Office at (304) 927-3410.
A disturbing discovery in Roane County, authorities say more than twenty horses have been found dead and many others were found malnourished.
The owner of the horses has not been charged but officials say charges are likely.
Police were called to the farm on Seaman's Fork outside of Reedy in Roane County after someone spotted a dead horse. On Saturday, police executed a search warrant and discovered 22 dead horses. Police say they believe the horses died from malnourishment.
The owner told authorities the horses came from Pennsylvania, but veterinarians say the proper tests were not conducted to bring the horses across state lines.
Twenty others horses were found alive, but malnourished, and taken into police custody.
"The horses appear to be malnourished and light in weight. We had member of the state Department of Agriculture, also the state veterinarian looked at them. We're hoping there is nothing wrong with them as far as disease or illness," Roane County Prosecutor Josh Downey says.
The remaining horses are being kept in an old set of stables outside of Spencer. And people have already started to collect items to help care for the horses. Police say it's taking 10 bales of hay and 50 pounds of grain to feed the horses everyday.
Police say they need donations but are asking people who would like to help to stay away from the horses and contact the Roane County Animal Shelter of the Roane County Sheriffs Office to make donations.
The horses are considered police evidence and are under quarantine as officials await the results of blood tests. Downey says the vet believes the remaining horses will survive.
We tried to reach the owner of the horses but she didn't answer our calls for comment. Downey says he's not sure when charges will be filed but says they're forthcoming.
Authorities have launched an investigation after 22 horses were found dead on property at Seaman Fork Road in Reedy in Roane County.
Police received a report on Thursday after one of the horses died near the road. When officers went to investigate, they found the other horses. Malnourishment is suspected as the cause of death.
There were 20 horses still alive. Roane County sheriff's deputies spent the day on the farm on Saturday and seized those horses, and they are being kept at the old Spencer Livestock market, which is now closed. A deputy is taking care of the horses, but the department is asking for help to get feed and hay. Deputies are asking people not to go see the horses at the Spencer Livestock Market because they are under quarantine.
If you wish to make a donation, contact the Roane County Animal Shelter at 304-927-2555 or the Roane County Sheriff's Office at 304-927-3410.
A veterinarian is assessing the health of those remaining horses.
No charges have been filed against the horse owner, but police to expect charges to come later this week.
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