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Man Facing Multiple Charges After His Horses Found Without Food Or Water

Last updated on Wednesday, January 8, 2014

(JEFFERSON CO.) - An Indiana man is facing multiple charges after his horses were found without food or water. But he says he’s been falsely accused.

According to the Jefferson County, Indiana sheriff there are 80 to 90 horses involved and all of them are being taken care of.
A few of 51-year-old Jeff Hayes' horses remain but most of them have been taken and are being cared for by animal groups. Hayes said he always feeds his horses and there's a vendetta against him because of his business.

"A lot of the horses that I sell go for slaughter and they don't like that," said Hayes. "It's not illegal to buy poor horses. It's just wrong to starve them. I don't starve my horses. I feed them and take care of them. I fatten them up."

"We obviously have information that contradicts that which led to his arrest," said Sheriff John Wallace. "We found horses that had not been fed for approximately four to five days or watered."

Hayes told WAVE 3 News he hired someone to care for the horses when he was out of town on business.

Sheriff Wallace said there have been other complaints and five of Hayes' horses that had died were found improperly disposed of in a ravine. Hayes is facing a felony charge for that and misdemeanors for animal cruelty and animals running at large.

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