Charged with 36 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty in the deaths of more than 20 horses, Tory Morgan, 41, is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Ronald White for trial in Spencer on April 17. Morgan was arrested on Jan. 23 and remains in Central Regional Jail in lieu of $90,000 bond.
According to the Sharonherald.com, Morgan leased a farm near Reedy last August to keep horses. A passerby reported seeing a dead horse on the property, and on Jan. 18, Lt. Jeff Smith of the Roane County Sheriff's Department and representatives from the West Virginia Division of Agriculture procured a search warrant for the property.
Authorities found 14 dead horses, and Morgan admitted that six more of the original 42 horses had been shot in late October. She never notified authorities.
Of the surviving horses, two were in exceptionally bad condition as a result of starvation. The horses were taken to Spencer Livestock Market where they have been cared for by the Roane County Animal Shelter.
Morgan stated she brought the horses from Pennsylvania with her to West Virginia in August, but was not able to show proof of testing as required by West Virginia law when transporting horses over state lines.
If found guilty, misdemeanor animal cruelty in West Virginia can be punished by up to six months in jail for each charge and be forced to repay the Roane County Animal Shelter the cost of the surviving horses' rehabilitation.
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