Two horses dead in Animal Cruelty Case - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Two horses dead in Animal Cruelty Case

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WYOMING COUNTY (WVVA) - Police have requested felony warrants for Donnie Ellis in Wyoming County on two counts of animal cruelty. 

Ellis, 27, was renting a home in the Reedy Creek area of Wyoming County.  In lieu of rent, his only obligation was to take care of four horses.  Law enforcement says it appears two of the horses starved to death.

The investigation started when deputies responded to an animal cruelty call Sunday. 

On Tuesday, one of the horses that died was still living.  Police say the owner's brother tried to prop him up and feed him, but the horse was too weak to stand and died shortly after.

Officials with the Humane Society say the other horse that died had been dead for about a month. 

They say there was feed on the farm.  Officials are investigating why Ellis chose not to feed the animals.

"We've talked to the brothers of the owner of the horses, and anytime [Ellis and his wife] needed anything, they would bring hay, grain, to the residence and drop it off," says Lt. Bradley Ellison, Wyoming County Sheriff's Department.  " Now [the owner's daughter and one of the brothers] did make a statement… they thought he might have been trading the money for drugs."

Ellis' wife also lived in the home, but she told law enforcement that her job took her away from the home constantly, so she did not know the horses were in bad condition.

The person who actually owns the home and the horses is serving time in prison. 

The other two horses that lived on the property are back safely with the owner's brother.

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