More than a dozen dead horses remain on Wake County property

WAKE COUNTY, N.C (WTVD) -- More than a dozen dead horses remain on a southern Wake County property where a nearby resident made a gruesome discovery Friday.

"I'm disappointed, I'm very frustrated because it's not right. They should have removed them all," said Gwen Roberts, who runs the nearby nonprofit Horses for Hope.

She found the animals dead. A neighbor contacted her because she suspected there might be animals in trouble there.

ABC11 has learned that the woman who owned the property has died.

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ABC11 visited the home of the owner's daughter and found a sign taped on the door saying, "Nobody at this address has any involvement with or knowledge of the horrific events that took place on Fanny Brown Road. We have no information to provide with the situation."

The Wake County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident as a case of animal cruelty. There have been no arrests made or charges filed.

"This to me is just totally unacceptable and it should have never ever happened," Roberts said. "We had no idea these horses were back here."

A total of 21 horses and a dog were found dead.

Roberts said it appears some of the animals died recently and others had been there for a while.

One horse was found pinned underneath a fence.

"You could see where he was pawing the ground trying to pull himself out. It was awful," she said. "I couldn't believe what I saw, it was bad."

Another dog survived.

Officials said staffers at the Wake County Animal Shelter are trying to nurse the dog back to health, but he is in bad shape.

Three horses were removed from the property for testing.

ABC11 asked the Sheriff's Office why investigators left other animals behind on the property.

"Apparently, because of the weather, they determined it would be safe there. It was a secure scene. So they will remain there probably until they are removed later this week," said WSCO spokesperson Eric Curry.

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