County Executive Chairman Ted Rumley comforts a starving horse on Sand Mountain. Three horses were rescued, another buried, and their owner is behind bars after a rescue Thursday. (All photos contributed by the Dade County Sheriff's Office)
Editor's note: Sgt. Chad Payne is information officer for the Dade County Sheriff's Office.
On Wednesday, Sept. 4, at approximately 1:15 p.m., a Dade County deputy received a call from dispatch for an anonymous complaint about horses not being taken care of, in the area of Smith Road on Sand Mountain.
The deputy responded to the area and located three horses in a field with what appeared to be no food or clean water. The deputy observed that the horses appeared to be extremely malnourished.
The deputy contacted the Georgia Department of Agriculture (Equine Division), and requested assistance in evaluating the horses.
The owner of the horses, Emily Brown, 21, of Flat Rock, Ala., was located and eventually arrested on warrants for one count of Felony Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, and three counts of Misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals.
It was found during the investigation that Ms. Brown leased the land from the property owner and tthat the property owner had no knowledge of the condition of the horses. Ms. Brown did not live on site. She voluntarily surrendered the horses to the sheriff's office and is currently incarcerated in the Dade County jail.
Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue and Sanctuary was contacted by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and responded to the scene to take possession of the horses.
Upon further investigation, another horse was located on the property, and found to be deceased, prior to the arrival of deputies. It is believed that the horse possibly died from lack of sustenance. That horse was buried on the property by the Dade County Public Works Department and Dade County Executive Ted Rumley.
Rumley and Dade Sheriff Ray Cross both attended the animal rescue on Thursday.
Sheriff Cross (left) stressed that this type of behavior toward animals will not be tolerated in Dade County. He also wants everyone to know that he understands that things happen, and people can no longer take care of their animals. The important thing to remember is that there is help out there for these types of situations. If you need help, just ask!.
Sheriff Cross also wants to express his gratitude to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue and Sanctuary, Dade County Public Works and Dade County Executive Ted Rumley, for their assistance in taking care of these animals.
Also, a huge thanks to Deputy Summer Raley, who worked tirelessly for two days, to make sure that the remaining horses had a fighting chance for survival.
--Sgt. Chad Payne
Dade County Sheriff's Office