Owners of malnourished horses plead no contest

Posted by Debra Worley - email

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The owners of ten malnourished horses pleaded no contest to animal cruelty charges, according to Kathy Williams of the Topsail Humane Society.

Tuesday, Billy Joe Suttles, Laura Westbrock and Larry Suttles were placed on three years of unsupervised probation.

The horses and several dogs were taken from Suttles' farm in May.  The dogs will not be returned to Shuttles, however, Dr. EJ Ackey will determine when and if the horses can be given back.

According to Pender County District Attorney Joe Bowman, the defendants will pay approximately $3,000-$5,000 for the animals' care.

The rescued horses are now being taken care of and are eating plenty of food, but the director of Topsail Animal Services said the reality is this will likely happen again.

"The way the economy is we're going to see this more and more in Pender County," said Lewis.  "We're a rural county. If you can't afford your animals don't be ashamed. Contact topsail or some rescue group."

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