Kentucky Horses Seized After 49 Found Dead

Fourteen horses are receiving rehabilitative care and another 18 await removal after authorities discovered the remains of 49 horses on a property in Pendleton County, Ky.

Pendleton County Animal Control Equine Investigator Scott Pracht said he responded to an anonymous complaint concerning a dead horse on a property near Butler, Ky. Upon investigation, animal control personnel discovered the remains of six horses on a property owned by horse seller and trader Larry Browning.

“Some still had their halters on (and) some had fallen into a pond on the property,” Pracht said.

Further investigation revealed remains of a total of 49 horses; "Some were just skeletons," he said.

Pracht said he also found 32 allegedly maltreated live horses residing on the property without adequate food or water.

“We found round bales of hay that were lying in the mud and the muck,” he said. “Some of the live horses were eating hay that had rolled into a stream where the carcasses of dead horses were decomposing.”

Acting on a warrant, Pracht subsequently removed 14 of the live horses. An attending veterinarian body scored the animals as having a body condition score of 2 or less on the Henneke body condition scale, he said. The removal of the remaining 18 live horses is pending a court order requiring the animals' owner to relinquish then to animal control authorities, Pracht said.

“It was not my intention to leave any of the 32 horses on the property,” Pracht said. “But I had to get the ones in worst shape out first.”

Pracht said Browning was subsequently charged with 14 counts of second degree animal cruelty. Each count carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $500 fine. Kentucky State Police also charged Browning with 49 counts of failing to properly dispose of an animal carcass, Pracht said.

A message on Browning's telephone number said the line was no longer in service; he was unable to be reached for comment.

Browning is slated to appear in court on April 15 to answer the charges, Pracht said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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