Two Dozen Animals Seized From Vancleave Property - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/30/03

Two Dozen Animals Seized From Vancleave Property

Jackson County Animal Control trucks and trailers rolled onto a property on Lloyds Lane in Vancleave Thursday.

"We're removing 19 horses and 2 llamas.  They're malnourished looking," Jackson County Animal Shelter Director Bill Richman said.

Authorities seized the animals after seeing their condition Wednesday night.

"We found horses that were underfed.  We found one that had a bad case of diarrhea, just generally poor condition," Richman said.

During their investigation, they said they found 50-horses, 5 llamas and much more belonging to Jeannie Houston. Constable Andy Hunt served the arrest warrant.

"She had goats and llamas and about 40 to 50 dogs. We got to looking at the welfare of these animals, and it wasn't 100%. They weren't kept great," Hunt said.

Others described a more gruesome discovery.

"We found 2 carcasses that had been in there for quite awhile, in one of stalls in the barn, which also housed 2 live animals at the time," Richman said.

Sue Bennett says she knew all along about the animals' health. She filed the complaint against the owner. 

"When I saw the animals, I saw sadness. I saw a lot of animals that can't fend for themselves. There were a lot of them that were bony, a lot them very wormy. The major thing that caught my eye was the land that these poor animals were on, they were dirt, just dirt. You just can't raise horses on dirt," Bennett said.

"Because of the sheer number of the animals, the stronger, the healthier, whatever horses would root out the smaller and the weaker ones. Probably the reason the whole thing came about, because there were too many animals in a too small an area," Richman said.

As the Animal Control truck pulled away from the property, neighbors got to catch a glimpse of the 21-animals before they were taken away.

"I was just glad. It's very sad deal, but it's a happy deal now," Bennett said.

The horses and llamas were taken to the Jackson County Animal Shelter. The other animals, which appeared to be in better shape, were left.

Jeannie Houston is out on bond, charged with one count of animal cruelty and neglect. It's a misdemeanor. She will appear in court Monday morning. We were unable to reach Houston for a comment.

by Trang Pham-Bui

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