FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County Animal Services and the Georgia Department of Agriculture rescued 11 malnourished horses from a local farm, after accusations of cruelty.
Officials cited owner Candace Redman of the Heritage Springs Horse Farm located on Butner Road in South Fulton County with 14 counts of "failure to provide humane care".
Investigators say the horses suffered from infections, malnutrition and a variety of other illnesses due to neglect.
After several earlier visits this week, the inspectors returned Friday with an impound warrant because owner Redman refused to surrender the horses.
When they showed up with a caravan of horse trailers and police cars, they had to cut through a locked gate.
"The owner of these animals will be in court in front of a Fulton County Magistrate Judge facing 14 counts of animal cruelty. The protection and humane treatment of animals is a priority for Fulton County Government," said Tony Phillips Assistant Director of Planning and Community Services.
As for how it happened, Phillips told 11 Alive News, "I think this is a situation where the person just got overwhelmed and she had more animals than she had the means to care for."
The Georgia Department of Agriculture took the horses to a farm in North Georgia, where they will be treated for their injuries and nursed back to good health.
They said scenes like this are not uncommon these days.
"The economic situation we're in now, people are trying to give their good horses away, in good condition, and then can't find homes for 'em," said MAT Thompson of the GA Agriculture Department's Equine Health Section.
His inspectors rated the seized horses in a condition of anywhere from 1 to 2.75 on a scale of 1 to 9. Thompson believes all of the animals can be saved, but said it could cost about $20,000 in donated services.
In addition to cruelty charges, owner Redman could face thousands of dollars in fines and possibly risk losing the right to operate a stable.