Seized North Carolina Hackney Pony Dies

A North Carolina man already facing multiple animal cruelty counts in connection with the alleged maltreatment of 35 Hackney Ponies on his Forsyth County farm could face an additional charge now that another of those animals has died.

On July 7 Forsyth County animal control personnel removed 35 allegedly emaciated animals from the Renn Brook Farm in Winston-Salem. One dead animal was also found at the scene. At the time of the seizure, the ponies had body condition scores of 1 and 2 on the Henneke Scale, said County Animal Control Department Director Tim Jennings.

Shortly after the seizure, two of the ponies were euthanized on veterinarian advice, Jennings said. Necropsies performed on the animal discovered dead on the scene and on the two euthanized ponies revealed than the animals were severely malnourished, he said.

On Sept. 17 another pony died, Jennings said.

"That pony was not euthanized," Jennings said. "The cause of death will be determined by necropsy."

Renn Brook Farm owner Renan Carter was charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty in connection with the ponies' deaths. He was also charged with 35 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, Jennings said. An additional felony charge could be filed in connection with the fourth pony's death, Jennings said.

"Based on the pending necropsy results, the District Attorney could file another felony charge," Jennings said.

Carter's attorney David Freedman was unavailable to comment on the case.

Meanwhile, 32 surviving ponies--including a foal born to a mare that was pregnant at the time of the seizure--are responding to rehabilitative treatment, Jennings said.

"They are all being seen by our attending veterinarian, and they are all looking well," Jennings 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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