LEXINGTON, Ky. — In what one investigator called the “worst case of animal cruelty” he’s seen, 49 dead horses and 15 others that appeared emaciated were found on a Pendleton County farm Monday.
Some of the horse skeletons on Larry Browning’s farm were found still wearing halters. Some were so starved their ribs showed through their skin.
There was very little hay for the horses to eat, some of it in pools of water along with horse carcasses, county animal control officials said.
Browning told them he planned to sell all the horses, either to private owners or to slaughterhouses outside of the country, by May.
“In nine years, this is the worst case of animal cruelty I’ve seen,” said Scott Pracht, the county’s equine investigator.
Browning was cited Monday by Kentucky State Police on 49 counts of not disposing of an animal carcass within 48 hours. Browning was also charged with 15 counts of animal cruelty.
The Pendleton County Animal Shelter cannot house horses, so the 15 animals that were rescued were delivered to foster care in Kenton County. About three dozen horses were left on the farm, Pracht said.
At the farm Tuesday, Browning said he has been buying and selling horses for more than 50 years.
Browning, 63, lives on the more than 70-acre farm, much of which is wooded.
According to Animals’ Angels, a Maryland-based advocacy group, there have been problems at Browning’s farm before.