Owner of dead horses says he did not mistreat them - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Owner of dead horses says he did not mistreat them

COPIAH COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - State and local investigators are looking into reasons behind several malnourished, injured and dead horses found on property near Crystal Springs. The owner claims he took good care of horses.

Over the weekend Alicia and Scott Armstrong were looking at the land and stumbled across what they can only describe as a horrible nightmare; dead horses, carcasses of dead horses, others injured or malnourished all around the property.

Monday, Vet's from the Mississippi Animal Board of Health, A private Vet and investigators from the Copiah County Sheriff's Department were on the Dees Road property. So was the owner. 

Jerry Earls says he bought some of the horses at auction, but many of them were given to him by people who could not care for them.

"They got feed, troughs, water. said Earls. "You got cameras, look around. They got hay. I'm not hiding nothing you know."

Earls also says he didn't abuse the horses.

"No, I ride a horse 7 days a week for a living," added Earls. 

When questioned about their condition Earls responded, "Wait a minute, they were already poor when I bought those horses." 

But they were not dead.

"No and you can't live everything, said Earls. "Just like you, if the good Lord wants you to leave this world the good Lord will cut your time off right then, right or wrong."

A private Vet examined the horses Monday. One horse was in need of medical care, but the Vet would not elaborate.

There are 60 horses left on the property. After photo's were shared on social media outlets, the remains disappeared overnight. Earls admitted the dead horses were quickly disposed of.

"I called the boy a month ago with a tract hoe, said Earls. "He couldn't get here. I called several more people,they didn't come. So I called a friend of mine back. He did come this weekend. We did bury the horses."

State Law Ch. 07: Disposition of Dead Animals, states, they have to be buried at a certain depth. The law is very specific. And the penalty is $1,000.00 per offense.  

 A Veterinarian with the State Board of Animal Health says all of the horses are quarantined and cannot be moved from the property.

Officials say this is an ongoing investigation. The owner of the horses has not been charged.

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