Louisville man charged with animal cruelty; horses seized from Louisville residence, taken to Horse Haven of Tennessee
By Wes Wade | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Louisville man was arrested Wednesday on a charge of animal cruelty after authorities seized seven horses from his property.
James Crafton Ford Jr., 46, Gravelly Hills Road, was charged with cruelty to animals by Blount County Sheriff’s Office deputies. He was released on $1,000 bond pending a 1:30 p.m. July 17 hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court.
Investigators with the Blount County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BCSPCA) visited Ford’s residence Wednesday and ended up seizing all seven of Ford’s horses.
BCSPCA animal cruelty investigator Kellie Bachman said this is the third time in as many years investigators have been to the property. She said the horses had no grass to feed on and were terribly malnourished.
The American Paint Horses, which included an 18-month-old stud colt, were taken to the University of Tennessee Vet Clinic and have since been released into the care of Horse Haven of Tennessee.
Nina Margetson, executive director of Horse Haven, said the horses’ recovery could take up to six or eight months. She said they were still waiting on the results of blood tests to determine if the horses suffered any internal injuries. They hope to have those tests back by the beginning of next week.
“We’ve seen worse,” Margetson said. “But we’ve never seen a young horse in this bad of shape. He’s the worst of the worst.”
The equine expert who visited Ford’s residence with BCSPCA investigators said the horses were in imminent danger of dying of starvation. On a scale between 1 and 10, with 10 being the healthiest level possible, the horses received scores ranging between 1 and 4 following an examination. Bachman said a healthy horse will receive a score of 6.
Bachman said it will likely cost several thousand dollars to treat the horses and that Horse Haven is greatly in need of donations. Horse Haven, located at 2417 Reagan Road in Knoxville, will be having an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. People can stop by and make donations or visit the website at http://www.horsehaventn.org .
Margetson said bags of Purina Strategy Feed or Purina Senior Horse Feed also would be greatly appreciated.