The owners of a Utah horse ranch are facing more than 100 neglect charges after deputies acting on a tip discovered three horses buried in a shallow grave, several others so malnourished they couldn't stand, and another stuck in a fence and too weak to break free.
Utah County Sheriff's office has arrested Trudy Childs, 59, and her son, Rory Childs, 31, on 101 counts of animal cruelty and 31 counts of livestock at large, Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.
Accompanied by a veterinarian, Utah County Sheriff's visited the Smokey Mountain Ranch in Spanish Fork housing about 100 horses last week after getting a report from a neighbor.
Five of the animals have died in recent weeks and about 12 others are ‘skin and bones, at death's doorstep,’ Cannon said. He said Trudy Childs has told them that 12 horses have died recently from starvation.
Utah County Sheriff James Tracy called it one of the largest and most severe cases of animal abuse he has seen in 35 years, according to Deseret News.
It's the first arrest for Rory Childs, but his mother has been previously charged with animal cruelty and more than 400 counts of livestock at large, Cannon said. Deputies have had regular contact with what he said has been a problematic ranch.
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