GROVETOWN, GA (WFXG) - The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office tells FOX 54 that the owner of nearly 50 horses, some in poor condition, has been charged with cruelty to animals.
Jose Ramon Reveron-George is charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals in this case. He also faces charges of false statements or writings and terroristic threats and acts in a separate incident and is currently at the Columbia County Detention Center.
ORIGINAL STORY: Reports of dozens of neglected horses in Grovetown have community members up in arms. However, county officials say there is no issue of neglect on the property.
If you travel to the farm on Rockford Drive, you’ll see hay bales outside of the gate. If Columbia County Animal Control is there, you’ll see large tanks of water and men bringing nourishment to the animals inside. That is because the owner of the animals, Jose Ramon Reveron-George, is currently being held with no bond at Columbia County Detention Center on unrelated charges.
Chris Wise, who manages a local horse farm, said, “The county is doing a great job now of giving them hay and water. The next step would be medical care.” Residents in the county, like Wise, continue to grow concerned with the type of care being given to the 42 horses inside. Tina Pondy, who owns an equestrian facility, said, “Probably 30 of them are in poor condition. (They have) what they call a body scale of one to two. Eight of those horses are locked up in small paddocks where they have no access to food or water. They are literally standing in about one to two feet, depending on the stall, of manure.”
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office told FOX 54 reporter Lex Juarez that just before the weekend, an investigation was conducted and neighbors confirmed that the animals were getting fed and watered every day. Major Steve Morris with CCSO also said that a veterinarian checked the conditions, saying there was no abuse or neglect, despite what concerned citizens are saying. Pondy, who has been following this and has been on the farm to see the horses, said, “If you look at the top of the horses, their top lines are sunken in, hips showing. Their back and vertebras and ribs are all showing. Their necks are shallow. Instead of being thick and fat and round, they’re upside down and shallow. So, that’s the condition of most of the horses that you can not see, because the buildings are blocking your view.”
We have reached out to the veterinarian for comment, but have yet to receive a response.
For now, a document titled “Inspection and Maintenance Warrant” can be seen on the fence at the farm. Major Morris said this warrant means that care can only be given to the horses by people with permission from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and animal control. He recognized that the living conditions might not be up to par with what local advocates say is healthy, but said that no law has been broken.
As far as who will care for the animals long term, there will be a hearing soon and a judge will decide that. Major Morris made it clear that the animals have not been seized by the county at this time, and are not going to be given away. He said the animal control will be seen at the farm as long as they are responsible for making sure the horses have food and water.