Orange Co. horse rescue owner arrested on 27 animal cruelty char - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side


Orange Co. horse rescue owner arrested on 27 animal cruelty charges

Source: WVIR Source: WVIR
Anne Shumante Williams (Source: Orange County Sheriff's Office) Anne Shumante Williams (Source: Orange County Sheriff's Office)

Sheriffs arrested the owner of an Orange Co. horse rescue organization on 27 charges of animal cruelty on Monday in connection with the deaths of a dozen horses and several other neglected animals, Orange County Sheriff's Office said on Monday.

Authorities filed a total of 27 charges against 57-year-old Anne Goland, also known as Anne Shumante Williams, the owner of Peaceable Farms on Liberty Mills Road in Somerset, reports NBC29's Matt Talhelm. They also report the IRS is also involved to investigate the farm's status as a non-profit horse rescue. Prosecutors tell the news outlet more charges are expected as the investigation continues.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said last week seven horses were found dead during a search of the farm and five more were euthanized. In all, more than 100 animals were surrendered by the property owner at Peaceable Farms on Liberty Mills Road in Somerset last week, including 71 horses, 28 cats and seven dogs, Sheriff Mark Amos said. Investigators seized ten more horses on Wednesday, when the owner refused to surrender them. There are still 18 more horses, two donkeys, a bull and several cats in the owner's care, sheriffs have said.

Sheriff investigators and veterinarians were on the property for three days evaluating every horse and several other animals on the property. Six different different rescue organizations have volunteered to help.

Complaints about Animal Control's handling of the case appear to be unfounded, according to sheriffs. The internal investigation was sparked by a social Media post claiming Animal Control did nothing after receiving a report of a dead horse in the field, however sheriffs believe that was not the case. 

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