Police seek owner of dead horses

REEDY, W.Va. – A Roane County woman is being sought on animal cruelty charges after more than a dozen dead horses were found on her farm.

A Jackson County Circuit Court judge issued an arrest warrant Thursday for 41-year-old Tory Morgan. The warrant charges her with 36 counts of animal cruelty.

Roane County sheriff’s deputies found dead and malnourished horses a week ago while responding to a report that a horse had died near the road.

Roane County Prosecutor Josh Downey said 14 horses were found dead and 20 others were severely malnourished. Two other horses couldn’t be accounted for.

Police said malnourishment is the suspected cause of death. The deputies seized the live horses from the farm. They were taken to the old Spencer Livestock Market, where a deputy has been taking care of them.

Based on the condition of the surviving horses and the understanding that the animals had been brought to West Virginia from Pennsylvania last summer without appropriate vaccinations and health certificates, the surviving horses were removed from the farm last Saturday, officials said.

The animals were placed under quarantine until the results of blood tests verify they are disease-free.

The deputy working the case and Downey were not available Friday afternoon to comment further on the situation or the condition of the animals, officials said.