Equine rescue operator faces animal cruelty charges

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Mercer County Sheriff's Deputies say it was last Thursday night when they were called out to this property on Shakertown Road for an animal cruelty investigation. When they got here, they found several horses in bad shape.

Sheriff's Deputies say they found 30 horses on this farm that were malnourished and neglected. They say several horses hadn't been fed in quite some time and others were being housed in dangerous conditions. Shirley Griggs, who lives next door, says the allegations are very troubling.

"I just think whoever owns them ought to take better care of them. And all the rain that we've had and all the snow, they've been in every bit of that. And no hay. That's not good," says Griggs.

What makes this case even more shocking is that the man the sheriff's department says is responsible for these conditions is the head of the Central Kentucky Equine Rescue. Richard M. Banks was arrested and charged with thiry counts of cruelty to animals. He was placed in the Boyle County Detention Center and has since bonded out. Shirley Griggs says, if these allegations are true, she doesn't understand how anyone could treat their animals this way.

"I don't think animals deserve that. If you've got animals, take care of them," says Griggs.

Since the horses were discovered, the Mercer County Animal Shelter has been out here bring hay to the horses and taking care of them as best they can. They're asking for donations.