NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. — Emaciated horses were found on the property of three family members who have been charged with animal neglect, authorities say, WECT reports.
Robert Woody Jr., Judy Woody and Sarah Woody were charged Friday with misdemeanor counts by the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.
An animal control officer spotted multiple emaciated horses on the property, including one stuck in the mud, during a response to a call about a horse on the loose, deputies say.
The horse was pulled from the mud but ultimately died, deputies say.
Five other horses were taken for treatment at a rehabilitation ranch after a veterinarian’s evaluation determined they were in need of emergency attention.
Robert Woody Jr., the property’s owner, told deputies his wife was in poor health and he was ill himself.
The couple asked their daughter, Sarah Woody, to look after the animals, but she is in school and working full time, so she had trouble keeping up with the horses.
“The family has been extremely cooperative and they just got in a situation like we all do in life where some things changed and they made some mistakes. There was never any mal-intent there. They’ve worked with us continuously. Every time we needed to come, everything we needed them to do they’ve done,” said Lt. Jerry Brewer with the NHCSO.