Deputies sorting horses in Columbia County after caregiver slapped with animal cruelty charge

In a hearing Friday, a judge ruled the animals are available for immediate rescue.

Deputies sorting horses in Columbia County after caregiver slapped with animal cruelty charge

COLUMBIA COUNTY (WFXG) - Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputies brought Jose Reveron-George back to this property on Rockford Drive to point out which horse needs to go where. This, after a judge ruled the animals are available for immediate rescue in a hearing Friday.

All of them don’t belong to him and some people from as far as Florida will take ownership of these animals to give them new life.

Reveron-George is charged with animal cruelty.

He pointed out horses while wearing cuffs and county-issued shoes. The lead investigator carefully tagged them with spray-paint.

“It’s not standard for this many horses to be kept in this kind of environment together," said District Attorney Natalie Paine.

But it’s a scene these two neighbors have seen play out for about a month. Every time they got on or off their school bus, this is what they saw.

“You would just drive by and the horses looked like standing skeletons and you could just tell something wasn’t right,” said high school freshman Kendal Crawley, who came to watch authorities assess the horses.

Friday, the case’s lead investigator and District Attorney Natalie Paine helped Columbia County Animal Services sort out the animals.

Fifteen will be reunited with their owners in Florida and the rest are headed hours away to North Georgia.

"So, our main concern was getting the horses into a better environment but before anybody would accept liability or responsibility for the horses, we had to transfer ownership, said the district attorney.

The lead investigator hurt himself trying to help a horse. He's expected to be okay.

Once the sheriff’s office completes its investigation, the case will be turned over to the DA’s office for prosecution.

“I just hate to see them like that. I’m glad that someone actually is getting something done and I’m glad that the horses are getting what they need now,” said Paris McElroy, who lives nearby.

Equine rescue groups from north Georgia, including the Department of Agriculture, are traveling to the area and are set to remove 25 horses this weekend. The remaining 15 horses will be retrieved by their owners, who live in Florida, by Tuesday. Columbia County Animal Services employees have been at the residence every day for the last 30 days caring for the animals.

Reveron-George was taken back to jail after identifying the horses and remains behind bars with no bond.

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