Saturday, August 4, 2012

NC Horse Abuse Case in Burke County

Woman pleads no contest to animal cruelty charges in alleged horse abuse case

Burke animal control seizes horses
Credit: Julie N. Chang/The News Herald
In this file photo, Burke County Animal Control officers attempt to load a horse into a trailer. Officers seized about 12 horses from 3492 and 3500 Crawley Higgins Ave. after a visit showed signs of neglect and animal cruelty, according to the search warrant.

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MORGANTON, N.C. – A Morganton woman charged with three counts of animal cruelty pleaded no contest in court Monday and now faces restitution charges to Burke County Animal Control.
Bobbie Darlene Reep, 54, of Crawley Higgins Avenue was served a criminal summons June 5 for animal cruelty after Burke County law enforcement removed 12 horses from her property the day before.
Authorities referred to the animals as thin and malnourished before taking them into custody and placing them under the care of Animal Control.
Reep originally claimed the horses appeared to be so unhealthy because they had been rescues.
“They have all been basically rescues or wild mustangs,” Reep said June 4. “A lot of the times they’re skin and bones and we take care of them.”
In court Tuesday, Reep revealed that she had signed ownership of the horses over to the state after the horses were seized.
When Animal Control requested Reep pay restitution for the horses’ maintenance, the defense explained to the court that Reep’s income up to the time of the seizure had been based solely on her horses.
“She’s pretty well, at this time, tapped out financially,” Reep’s attorney stated in court.
After some deliberation, the court decided that Reep must pay restitution of $5,511.42, but over a period of time set by a probation officer.
While the court stated it understood Reep’s economic circumstances, it believed, “she should bear some sort of responsibility.”
Reep refused to comment.

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