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Sick, dead horses in Roane lead to charges against woman

By Staff reports

SPENCER, W.Va. -- Deputies charged a Roane County woman with animal cruelty charges after reportedly finding 40 dead and emaciated horses on her farm last week.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Evans issued an arrest warrant for Tory Morgan, 41, of Spencer, on 36 counts of animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, on Thursday. Deputies had not arrested Morgan by Thursday night.

Those charges stem from an investigation conducted on her farm near Reedy on Jan. 17. Roane County law enforcement officials said they obtained a warrant to search the property after they received complaints of sick and dead horses there.

Once on the scene, they found the carcasses of 14 horses and learned that six other horses had died earlier, according to Roane County Prosecuting Attorney Josh Downey.

Two additional horses could not be accounted for, Downey said Monday.

Another 20 horses were found severely malnourished. Sheriff's deputies, the West Virginia State Police, humane officers and state Department of Agriculture personnel rounded up the surviving horses and took them to a nearby farm to be fed.

The horses -- two stallions, a 5-month-old colt and several mares -- included Arabians, Paints and other breeds.

Morgan did not have a working phone listed in Spencer or for previous addresses in Sharon, Pa., and Underhill, Vt.


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