Two men face the possibility of up to a year in jail after investigators say they tied a horse to the back of their car, and dragged it down a road.
The Bath County Sheriff's Department says it happened Saturday night along Peeled Oak Road. Deputies say the horse couldn't keep up with the speed of the car and lost its footing. That's when investigators say the men dragged the horse as much as 700 yards along the road.
Five days later, you can still see the trail. "This is blood. All this right through here is blood, where they drug the horse all the way up this hill," Bath County Sheriff's Deputy Johnny Botts said pointing to a long line leading up the road. Botts shot photos of the horse he says Jeffrey White, bought from a farm just down the road from White's home. That's when investigators say White and another man, Jason Crouch tied the horse to their car to lead it home. "Right here around this curve here, the horse took his first fall right here. That's a piece of meat right there," Botts said pointing to a point at the intersection of Highway-965 and Highway-1331.
The trail leads right past the home of Willie Roland, who watched in horror at what was happening. "The horse was doing its best to stay up on its feet at that point," Roland said, "and I guess he got a little too fast right yonder, and that's where the horse fell. He couldn't keep up with the car."
Neither Jeffrey White nor Jason Crouch were home when we paid them a visit, but a woman who identified herself as White's daughter explained what she says she saw Saturday. "They tied it to the back of the car to bring it back up here, and I guess the horse had got too tired or whatever, but it fell right up here," Stacy White said.
Several people nearby called authorities to report abuse, and animal control took the horse into custody.
Investigators brought the 5-year-old stallion to a farm, where caretakers have named him, Lucky. Veterinarians say Lucky didn't break any bones, and they expect him to recover from his wounds. While his owner awaits his day in court, Lucky has already met several people interested in giving him a new home.
Jeffrey White and Jason Crouch are due in court July 19. Cruelty to animals is a class-A misdemeanor that could result in 90 days to a year in jail or a $250 to $500 fine.
If you'd like to help Lucky, you're asked to contact the Bath County Sheriff's Department or Animal Control.
606-674-6795 (Animal Control)