Deal reached in horse neglect case - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Deal reached in horse neglect case

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) -

New information in the case of dozens of malnourished horses and other animals seized from a farm in Dinwiddie County.

During a seizure hearing on Monday the owner of the animals, Sara Johnson,  agreed to give up 94 of her animals, mostly horses, so they can be placed in better homes.

In court  both sides reached an agreement. Johnson admitted to not properly caring for her pets.

Johnson left court quickly and quietly and didn't respond to questions by reporters. 

 " She agreed the animals had not received adequate care. She's agreed to forfeit the animals," said  Dinwiddie Commonwealth's Attorney, Lisa Caruso.

Investigators say,  the animals are in poor shape, weak, and severely malnourished.

Animal control seized the animals last week from Johnson's farm on White Oak Road.

 "They're actually doing better on the constant increased feedings and the carefulness we've taken with segregating the ones that were the worse," said Chief Warden Deborah Broughton with Dinwiddie Animal Control.

Since the county doesn't have a place to house the animals  most of them will remain on Johnson's property under the supervision of animal control. Investigators are hoping to find the animals new homes by the end of the month.

"We've already got mechanisms in place with the U.S. Equine Rescue League that will be moving them and making those placements -- vetting the people who'll be taking them," said Broughton.

As for criminal charges...

 "I'm waiting on another veterinarian report. I haven't decided yet," said Caruso.

In court Johnson also agreed to pay restitution to the county for the amount it's costing to properly care for the animals.

The case will be back in court on May 31st for a review.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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