31 Dead Horses Found on Kentucky Farm: No Additional Charges Yet

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has filed charges against a Rowan County man after state and local authorities discovered 31 dead horses on his farm.

Don Miller of Rowan County was charged on Wednesday with one count of violating state law regulating the disposal of animal carcasses, according to Bill Clary, director of public relations for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). (For more on this see 31 Dead Horses Found on Kentucky Farm; Improper Disposal Charges Filed.)

The charge carries penalties of $100 to $500 for the first offense, and fines of $500 to $1,000, and up to 30 days in jail for subsequent offenses.

So far, no additional charges have been made.

The Rowan County Attorney declined to comment on the case.

"He's never been in trouble before. And as far as I can see, this (leaving the live horses unattended) was not done on purpose." --Eugene Kinney
The dead horses were discovered Tuesday afternoon after a member of the Lewis County Humane Society alerted the KDA about the carcasses on the Rowan County property. Agriculture officials and Rowan County Sheriff's Office investigators subsequently found 20 dead horses in a pasture and another 11 dead horses in a nearby barn. Another 10 living horses were in the barn, and 14 more were found in alive in a pasture outside the barn, Clary said.

"Some were in better shape than others," said Clary. A veterinarian has examined the animals, and members of the Lewis County Humane Society are currently caring them for on the farm.

Humane Society President Eugene Kinney said Miller has been selling Quarter Horses and Tennessee Walking Horses for years, but has recently experienced serious health problems. Kinney has been in contact with veterinarians who have treated Miller's horses since the 1990s.

"He's never been in trouble before," Kinney said. "And as far as I can see, this (leaving the live horses unattended) was not done on purpose."

According to Kinney, the person appointed to care for the horses had been reassuring Miller that the horses were fine.

Kinney said he hopes Miller will voluntarily surrender the horses into protective care.

"I don't want to take something away from him and then have to live with it later," Kinney said. "But I'm going to do what's right by the horses."

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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