The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after three malnourished horses were found in a local pasture, and one of the horses had to be destroyed.
Sheriff Randy Cartwright said a citizen contacted his office Friday, alerting deputies that three malnourished horses were being kept in a pasture in the 900 block of Thunder Road.
Cartwright said all three horses were underweight and their ribs were protruding. He said there was no evidence the horses had been physically abused.
The sheriff’s office obtained court orders to seize two of the horses, but a third was determined to be in such poor health that it had to be euthanized by a veterinarian, Cartwright said.
The two surviving horses were turned over to the Equine Rescue League, a nonprofit agency that cares for neglected and abused horses. The agency is keeping the two horses at undisclosed locations.
No charges have been filed in connection with the discovery of the horses.
Cartwright said the horses were being kept on property that did not belong to the animals’ owner.
Cartwright said his office’s probe will focus on whether the horses were victims of cruelty or were suffering medical illnesses. He said his office is awaiting a conclusion from a veterinarian.
Details of the sheriff’s probe will then be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for a determination whether criminal charges are warranted, Cartwright said.