PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) — More than 100 neglected and abused animals have been removed from a self-designated animal rescue farm in West Virginia.
Putnam County Humane Officers say, Tuesday, they found one of the worst cases of animal abuse they've seen in the past decade.
Officials say the living space at A&A Farms on Red House Hill along Route 34 was cramped and full of feces. They say many of the animals were without food and/or sick.
Humane officials also claim they found the remains of at least eight dead animals, two of which were rabbits found in a fire pit.
The conditions were so bad, Putnam County humane officials called the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association for help removing all 103 animals from the farm.
"I'm glad they're gone, because now they're gonna be taken care of," neighbor Crystal Ashworth said. "[The suspect] deserves jail time, he deserves fines, he deserves everything."
Humane officials say they investigated the farm after seeing several posts on social media, saying animals were loose on a nearby road.
Ashworth says she witnessed abuse in person.
"He smacked one of the horses so hard, I heard it inside my house," Ashworth said. "To me, it would be where animals are going to die."
Humane officials say the farm was not licensed as an official animal rescue. They also say the owner will be formally charged Wednesday with multiple counts of abuse and neglect.
Humane officers say the owner of the animals has the option to designate as many as he wants to keep ownership of as this case moves through the court system. They say he has signed some over permanently, but has also chosen to keep ownership of others.
The owner will have to pay living expenses each month until the case is settled and will only be able to get them back if he's found not guilty.