GRAPHIC: Woman arrested after 29 horses found dead, around 45 dogs rescued from home, authorities say

Debra Catledge was arrested on 15 counts of animal cruelty, the Colbert County Sheriff’s...
Debra Catledge was arrested on 15 counts of animal cruelty, the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office said. More charges are pending.(Colbert County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 1:29 PM EDT
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TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WAFF/Gray News) - “There’s really not one particular way to describe it. It’s an emotional rollercoaster,” said animal control officer Jessica Hogan in describing her emotions after responding to a reported case of animal cruelty.

GRAPHIC WARNING: Video and descriptions may be disturbing to some.

One woman faces charges after nearly 30 dead horses were found on her property, authorities in Colbert County said.

On Sunday, Debra Catledge was arrested by the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office on 15 counts of animal cruelty. More charges are pending.

“There was an area that was just basically bones that was in the back. There was really not a lot left to be able to determine the cause of death,” says animal control officer Whitney Hamby.

Animal Services Director Corey Speegle said he worked closely with animal control to remove over 20 living horses and over 40 dogs from the property.

Animal control personnel said they discovered a disturbing scene at a home in Colbert County, Alabama.

“We pulled up in front of the house. We could hear the dogs barking. We noticed a row of kennels with dogs, four or five deep in elevated kennels, pretty bad conditions, hair matted up, living in pee, poop, feces ... just really bad conditions,” said Speegle.

Speegle said all animals were brought to the Colbert County Animal Shelter. Saturday morning, volunteers from all over the community stepped in to help find homes for THE animals seized from the property.

“We’ve had rescue come in. We’re going to have dogs going to rescues in Nashville and in Kentucky, and they’ll stay there pending the court’s decision on these animals,” Speegle said.

Out of the 40 dogs rescued from the woman’s property, only four were left at the shelter after area rescues stepped in to help.