Malnourished horses were loaded into horse trailers and removed from a residence near Tom Cummings Road.
25 Starving Horses Seized, SODA, November 10, 2015 - At approximately 1:30 pm on Novmber 10, 2015, Animal Control Officers and Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office seized 25 horses, 5 donkeys, 2 dogs, and a pig from a residence off of Rhett's Run (off Tom Cummings Road). The residence is reportedly occupied by James and Connie Lashmet. Deputies had reportedly responded to a recent theft at the residence. Deputies noticed the obivious presence of malnourished animals. There are reportedly dead horses strewned on the 10 acre plat. Horses were reportedly buried in shallow graves, some dragged into the woods and left to rot away, another dead horse wrapped in a blanket and left laying on the ground. Deputies allegedly found dogs that had been left in the mobile home for at least three days without being let out. Property owner/landlord Patrcia Reynolds stated that police woudn't let her inside the residence because the conditions inside were too toxic from animal fecies. Further, according to Reynolds, there were kids that were in the home (ages 17 to 4). The Polk County Sheriff's Office took the animals into custody and will feed and care for them, including veterinarian care. Until a judge is able to view the case, as well as view the animals and their condition the animals will remain in the custody of the Polk County Sheriff's Office where the case remains under investigation. Pending the judge's ruling, James and Connie Lashmet are facing multiple felony charges, including felony animal cruelty and felony environmental charges for improper disposal on large animals (an environmental / health hazard).
Editor's Note: There's a possibility that this case involves the property owners taking horses into their care for other people to make money for their services.
Animal Control Officer, Missy Currie, stands beside a horse with sores and neglected hoofs (note length of hoofs). Untrimmed hoofs lead to extreme pain and possible bone disease. This horse wasn't able to stand on its own until deputies were able to help it up.
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