ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - In late December, Estill County Judge Executive Wallace Taylor along with Estill County Animal Control were alerted to a farm after a county employee thought he saw, from the road, a dead horse laying on Gregory McAfee’s farm.
“When I walked up, I thought it was dead and to see it laying there and just grunting when I saw it breathe and then it piled I said ‘enough’s enough,’” Judge Executive Wallace Taylor said, “I’ve dealt with horses for several years and I’ve never been on a site and seen a horse in that bad of shape.”
Judge Taylor said because that horse was so malnourished, it had to be euthanized.
Gregory McAfee, 49, was arrested Thursday and charged with five counts of animal cruelty- 2nd degree, which are all misdemeanors. Judge Taylor says those charges will likely be upgraded once the case is taken to court.
“To treat an animal the way these were treated, I wouldn’t treat a human this way,” Judge Taylor said.
Judge Taylor said this wasn’t the first time the county received complaints about how McAfee cared for his animals.
“People were actually stopping on the side of the road when we were there, saying ‘thank you,’” Judge Taylor said.
McAfee had a total of five horses on his farm. Of the four horses that were rescued, three of them are in foster care and one of them is staying at the Estill County Animal Shelter as it is being nursed back to health.
The Estill County Animal Shelter took pictures of the horses at the farm, many of them too disturbing and gruesome for WKYT to air or post online.
Judge Taylor said the only source of food on the farm was molded corn and black hay. Judge Taylor said there wasn’t any source of water.
“When a horse will eat wheat straw, they’re starving, “ Judge Taylor said.
“We will fight this tooth and toenail in the court of law that this man never has another animal,” Judge Taylor said.
The Estill County Animal Shelter will continue to cover the costs to care for the remaining horse in their care; however they can always use donations of food for their animals.