New charges pending in dead horses investigation - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

New charges pending in dead horses investigation

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
COPIAH COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - We have learned more criminal charges are pending against Jerry Earls in Copiah County. After numerous dead, sick and malnourished horses were discovered on his leased land, animal activist have been up in arms.

Earls is charged with 4 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty in Copiah county.We have learned the State Board of Animal Health is ready to slap him with 13 counts of failure to dispose of 13 dead horse on the property he leased out. The fine up to $1,000.00 on each count. 

Three people staged a rally Friday in front of the Copiah County Sheriff's office, including Alisha Armstrong. She and her husband discovered the tragic situation on Dees Road.

Alisha said

"What's being done here is unjust for the horses," said Alisha. "We care about the horses and we want to make sure the horses are taken care of in a proper manner. And a just manner. The people that did this need to be to the fullest extent penalized for it."

Cindy Crane drove over from Carthage, she is a supporter of the Justice for Copiah County Horses group.

"We look bad around the country," said Crane. "It's not just here. There might just be three of us here today, but there are thousands of people who are aware of what's going on in Mississippi and they are not happy about it and they support us all."

The State Veterinarian says Mitch Stanley paid  Earls to buy feed, hay and care for the animals. But Earls did not do that. According to Dr. Jim Watson, he allegedly pocketed the money.

Authorities for the state and county also told us, initially Earls claimed the horses were his, then he changed his tune.

We have confirmed through the State Vet and Copiah County Sheriff, the owner of all but 8 horses, is Mitch Stanley.  According to federal court documents authorities, StStanleynd his family own a commercial transport business and livestock feedlot business based in Arkansas and Louisiana. 

Dr. Watson confirmed Stanley sent in 18 wheelers and loaded up his horses Thursday. Their ultimate destination remains unknown.

But Justice for Copiah County Horses advocates believe they will eventually be sold and sent out of the country for slaughter.

Rescue organizations from in and out of state rescued what was left of the few remaining horses that survived on the property. Second Chance for Horses Facebook page posted photo's of some rescued animals that had injuries and others with ribs showing.

Animal advocates say at least a few of the horses, suffering from the worst conditions and malnutrition, now have a second chance at life. 

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