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Four horses have been seized from a Brunswick County residence after they were found in deplorable conditions.
Rosemary Gettie Waldrone and Edward Dean Oxendine, both of 6890 Sandy Run Drive NE, Leland, were arrested on Monday, Dec. 17, and each charged with four counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals.
Brunswick County Sheriff’s Animal Protective Services seized the horses and had them examined by a veterinarian before pressing charges.
“We began working this in January,” said First Sgt. Tommy Tolley. “We have been trying to work with the people to get them to comply to bring the horses to a healthy weight. The vet determined their condition was due to nutrition.”
Tolley said the horses’ were so thin their ribs were visible.
Concerned citizens originally told animal control about the horses. Tolley said animal control visited them at least once a month, if not more, throughout the year.
“They improved the conditions for a short period of time and then they would fall back off of it,” Tolley said.
BCSO deputies seized an appaloosa, a palomino, a Bay horse and a filly.
“All three adults were scored very poor by the vet,” Tolley said. “The filly wasn’t growing properly due to improper nutrition.”
The horses’ pasture was a dirt yard filled with tires, old cars, equipment and other debris piles. Officers reported there was no water, no grazing area and food was only available as it was put out.
Tolley said conditions continued to deteriorate throughout the year. In the fall, Waldrone and Oxendine surrendered a white horse.
“He is in foster care. He has gained weight and is thriving,” Tolley said.
Tolley said in recent months the BCSO’s Animal Protective Services has had numerous calls about horses not being properly cared for.
“I’m not sure if it’s the economy or if people just don’t know the extent of care that is involved with a horse,” Tolley said.
Animal Protective Services isn’t prepared to rescue horses on a daily basis, but when the time came, officials took measures to ensure they had proper equipment and housing.
The day the horses were removed from the Sandy Run Drive home, three animal control officers and six deputies responded.
Tolley said the residence was searched. Officers looked for anything pertaining to the animals that would prove the circumstances surrounding their condition were different than what they appeared.
After the animals were removed, they were placed in foster care in three counties.
“There isn’t a facility to keep them here,” Tolley said about the Brunswick County animal shelter.
The horses were examined by a vet and then placed in foster care.
Animal control and county are responsible for related expenses.
“If anyone wants to donate or help us take care of them, they can bring it to the shelter and we will take it to the foster site,” Tolley said.
The three adult horses are in need of senior food.
“They aren’t up for adoption now,” Tolley said. “They won’t be until the court date. We will let a judge determine proper ownership.”
Waldrone and Oxendine are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 17.
Rachel Johnson is a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email@example.com.