FRANKLIN COUNTY (WSLS 10) – The owners of two Franklin County race horses were recently indicted on several animal cruelty charges.
Mary Katherine Miller and James Miller are charged with two counts of cruelty to animals and six counts of inadequate care by owner, according to court records.
Their two starving horses were seized by the Franklin County Animal Control on Tuesday, April 28. The two horses, who are 15-years-old or more, were found massively underweight with a skin condition known as ‘rain rot’ from being out in the elements.
Both horses were taken to the Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue where they were treated by a veterinarian. According to members with the rescue facility, they now have full custody of the two champion barrel racing horses.
When the horses were first rescued Dean, also known as “Dusty,” was underweight by almost 300 lbs. Since being taken in Dean has gained 50+ lbs. Jitter Bug was underweight by almost 400 lbs. Since being rescued Jitter Bug has gained 30+ lbs.
Officials at RVHR say the two horses still have a long way to go and are still very underweight. If you would like to help the two horses or other rescues at RVHR, visit their website.
Mary and James Miller were both released on May 6. They’re due in court again on May 19.