19 dead horses found on Trimble Co. property

19 dead horses found on Trimble Co. property
Russell Spaulding (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Russell Spaulding (Source: WAVE 3 News)

BEDFORD, KY (WAVE) – At least 19 horses, 15 rabbits and three goats were confirmed dead on a Trimble County property owned by a Bedford woman.

Animal Control authorities acted on a search warrant on Wednesday night, rescuing 14 horses and five rabbits with the help of Ellie Troutman and her team at Windy Meadows Equestrian Centers.

"I mean there are dead horses lying within eye shot of the road. It's tragic really. And it never gets easy people ask 'is this another day in the life of the horse farm,'" Troutman said. "It's not."

Troutman rescued at least 12 horses who will go to her farm to get veterinary care and begin to heal.

"That's what makes my heart feel good that we rescued those horses and that's what will make me tear up," Troutman said.

Wednesday was not the first time Henry-Trimble County Animal Control director Russell Spaulding had shown up to a pasture in Trimble County for calls about dead animals.

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"Couple years back, some fell through some ice and in the lake on another property, basically we informed her that they needed to be disposed of and she did," Spaulding said.

It was the same woman, similar call. With dead horses found on her property again, Spaulding said it makes him worry that there are more dead horses.

With a search warrant, county officials will investigate what exactly led to the deaths of the animals.

At this point, Animal Control officials said they are focused on the animals themselves. Finding which ones need help and which ones need removal. Once they take in all the information about how many animals remain alive on the pasture, they will take them to a place they can be taken care of.

"It doesn't mean that is guilty of anything, these animals could have been sick, she could have not just been able to get them," Spaulding said.

Neighbors who know the owner of the property and the animals said she has never had malicious intent. Matt Sandusky said the woman brings in neglected horses that are no longer wanted and are often times sick.

"She picks up animals that people just don't want and it's going to make her look bad but the reality is people don't take their responsibility and she tries to - I think, takes on too much," Sandusky said.

Spaulding added whatever the circumstances may be, he said he wishes the owner had reached out for help if she needed any.

"We have never got a call about needing hay, she's in touch with a lot of horse people in the area, and they've tried to help, I feel like she just got in over her head," Spaulding said.

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