Alabama Man Found Guilty of Cruelty; Ownership of Horses Uncertain

An Algiers, Ala., man has been found guilty of 10 counts of animal cruelty after being accused of keeping horses on his property with limited food and water, a prosecutor said.

A criminal District Court commissioner last week found Dave Williams guilty of 10 of the 23 counts of cruelty to animals he had faced, prosecutor Aubrey Harris said. William received a six-month suspended sentence, 40 hours of community service, and a $600 fine.

Williams owned some of the horses; others were boarded at the property.

Since Williams' arrest, the SPCA has been caring for 21 horses, and says it has spent more than $112,000 for their care.

A hearing is scheduled for next month to determine whether Williams or the other owners can reclaim the horses.

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune could not reach Williams' attorney, Frank DeSalvo, for comment. There was a busy signal at his office phone Tuesday.

Williams was arrested in February 2007 after a dead horse was discovered at the edge of his property. Kathryn Destreza, director of humane law enforcement for the Louisiana SPCA, said her group, which arrived after Williams' arrest, found another dead horse and others that were frail or emaciated. A trough had moldy water, and there was no grass in the pasture, said Destreza, who also was a prosecution witness who testified at the trial.

State law requires animals be given "proper food, proper drink, proper shelter, and proper veterinary care."

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The Associated Press

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