Dead Horses: The investigation continues - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Dead Horses: The investigation continues

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Jerry Earls   Source: WLBT Jerry Earls Source: WLBT
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We are continuing to follow an investigation of an animal welfare case out in Crystal Springs. Animal advocates are up in arms. The rotting carcasses of some 20 horses were discovered this past weekend.

The man accused is a convicted felon still on probation.  The images posted by Justice for Copiah County Horses on Facebook are disturbing. The pictures were taken by a couple looking to lease the land.

Dead horses and weanlings were found dumped in piles, a bloody mare still alive and trapped in a feed trough too weak to get out, all allegedly acquired by self proclaimed horse trader, Jerry Earls.

"Ya know I hate all this happened but it did," Earls said Monday, with little compassion.

The scene went unattended for months until photos were posted on Facebook. Monday we found Veterinarians, including two who worked for the Mississippi Board of Animal Health, on the scene. One private Veterinarian from Copiah County declined to talk with us or give us his name. 

A State Vet pointed blame for the travesty to those who sold Earls the horses. 

"So they got this way before he had them, so that's where I think be the concern, not persecute him," said Angeliki Polles,with the Mississippi Board of Animal Health. She added that the horses were bought at auction.

Fifty-nine year old Jerry Earls is leasing the property. 

"I ride a horse 7 days a week for a living," said Earls." I can pin cattle, catch cattle, I work for the public."

And he allegedly stole cattle.  We have learned Earls was indicted and convicted of larceny of livestock in 2012. Earls admitted stealing a bull and 42 cows and calves.

We know he continued to buy horses at livestock auctions for the sole purpose of flipping them, but questions surround just who his customers are. We posed that question to Polles.

She says Earls bought the horses with the intention of fattening them up, but Polles says she doesn't know if the animals were intended for slaughter.

At this point, Earls is not facing any charges.

"Not at this time that I know of, pending an investigation?" said an investigator.

One person who commented on the "Justice for Copiah County Horses" Facebook page said the remaining horses were reportedly up for adoption for $50 each.

The State has quarantined the horses, and we are told selling them would be illegal.

Animal rescue groups nationwide are now following this investigation closely for any new developments in this case.

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