49 dead horses found on Pendleton Co. farm

Photo of horses on the property from Brett Hoffland.
Photo of horses on the property from Brett Hoffland.

PENDLETON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - 49 horses were found dead at a Pendleton County farm on Monday.

Animal Control and Emergency Management responded to 2239 Ky. 117 in Butler City after an anonymous tip alerted them of dead horses on the property.

Authorities said Larry Browning, who owns the property, will be charged with 14 counts of second degree animal cruelty.

Thirty-five horses were found still alive on the property. Officials said 14 horses are being taken to safe locations throughout Kenton County to be treated for malnourishment.

Officials say Browning is only charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty because of the 14 malnourished horses taken from the property. Authorities said they are waiting to determine the exact cause of death for the 49 horses before filing additional charges.

Larry Browning freely admits that some of the horses on his farm in Pendleton County look sick and malnourished.

He says there's a reason why he has so many horses, though. Browning tells FOX19 that people in Pendleton County know he'll try to care for them.

"In the last two years, I've probably had close to 100 horses dropped off. Now, some of them straighten up.  I mean, I worm them all and I've got, well, this winter I spent two or three thousand dollars on hay," said Browing.

He went on to say that about four years ago, he took in some horses from the southern part of the state. He says he rehabbed many of them, and that now people who can't take care of horses use his property as a drop off point. He says it happens during the middle of the night, near his barn at the edge of the property.

"This didn't happen until they stopped the slaughter. Once they stopped the slaughtering, people didn't have an outlet for their old horses, crazy, or mean horses," said Browning.

He says as a result of tough economic times, many people around the area can't take care of their horses and don't know what to do.

"I just put up those no trespassing signs up here in the last six months. It hasn't helped. They are still dropping them off," said Browning.

Pendleton County has tried to fight animal cruelty for awhile. FOX19 has uncovered several documents from 2013 which outline tougher penalties and tighter investigations into cases of abuse. Browing says he's not an abuser. Back in 2011, he faced similar charges, went to court, and won.

"What am I going to do? The animal activists, they'll do what they want to do. They say I'm harboring them, they're on my farm, so it's my responsibility," said Browing.

Investigations into Browning began in February after Butler residents complained of dead horses on his property, according to officials The anonymous tip on Monday led them to visit the farm and charge Browning with animal cruelty.

His next court date is April 15th.

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