Upgraded charges could be coming in Lauderdale animal cruelty case


Courtesy: Singing River Equine Rescue, Inc.

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s been called one of the most severe cases of horse cruelty animal control officers and rescue groups have seen in Lauderdale County.

A sight so disturbing there are many pictures from the seizure we can’t show you.

When looking at two mares that were rescued, you can see tail-bones protruding out, skin rot on their backs, and a bridle which grew into the skin on one of them.

They were confiscated from a small farm on County Road 81 in Lauderdale County that at one time had 32 horses in a pasture.

Kristi Mitchell with Singing River Equine Rescue was with the team of animal control officers and deputies who seized 16 surviving horses.

“One horse had to be euthanized on the scene. He either had, it appears he had a really bad eye injury that had gone untreated for a long time and it was bleeding,” explained Mitchell.

The owner of the horses, 65-year-old Horace Mearl White is facing 32 counts of animal cruelty, class “A” misdemeanors.

Prosecutors said they are researching the possibility of upgrading the charges to felony status due to the deplorable conditions and death of 16 horses.

Mitchell said in her time as a volunteer, she has never seen anything like this.

“There was a water cooler that had water in it, but mosquitoes covered it. Lots of mud. The hay looked like broom straw, the horses wouldn’t eat it,” Mitchell stated.

While prosecutors decide on charges, Mitchell said she will work to slowly rehabilitate the horses that are now in her care, hoping they make it through.

Singing River Equine Rescue, Inc. is a non-profit facility who takes in the most severe cases of horse cruelty from law enforcement and nurses the animals back to health.

To help donate funds to the rescue or to adopt a horse, follow this link.

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