UPDATE: Surviving horses taken to rehab ranch

FRIDAY UPDATE: The three starving horses rescued in the animal cruelty case in Dade County are recovering. We spoke with Red Clay Ranch Executive Director Lee Rast today. Rast says they have been evaluated by a vet and are on a strict re-feeding protocol.


DADE COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) – It was an anonymous tip that led authorities to Smith Road on Sand Mountain on Wednesday.

They found three horses and another horse that appeared to have starved to death.

That horse had to be buried on site.

“I’m disgusted with this. This is very in humane to see animals like this,” Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross said.

Authorities said the horses were found in a field with no food or clean water.

They were so thin that their bones were visible.

“There’s not a speck of grass left on this property. There was some water in a tub, but it was very hot water and they’re out in this hot sun. So it’s just been a, it’s a very bad case,” Sheriff Cross said.

21-year-old Emily Brown was arrested.

According to the Dade County Sheriff’s Office, she faces 1 count of Felony Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, and 3 counts of Misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals.

“This is painful. This is truly painful,” Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue & Sanctuary Co-Founder & Executive Director Lee Rast said.

The surviving horses were taken to Red Clay Ranch on Thursday.

It’s a rehab facility for horses.

“I’ve not seen too many in as bad of shape as the bay is,” Rast said.

Efforts will be made to nurse the horses back to health at the ranch.

Rast said they’ll follow a re-feeding protocol.

It’s unclear what sort of internal damage has been done.

“Almost all starved animals will develop a heart murmur and that will never be, that will never be cleared up. I, I have worries about one of these horses. I have grave worries about one of these horses,” Rast said.

It might be a long road to recovery for the animals, Rast said it even could be months before they all begin to appear normal.

Categories: Dade County, Featured, Local News

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