Leake County man charged with animal cruelty after horses seized

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LEAKE COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – A Leake County has been charged with animal cruelty after 10 horses were surrendered to the sheriff’s department. Many of the animals were malnourished.

According to investigators, Jonathan Stewart, 37, was arrested in the case after a witness reported seeing the horses wandering close to the Natchez Trace near Thomastown.

“They were all in pretty bad health as far as our concern,” said Sheriff Randy Atkinson.

Following protocol, Atkinson said the animals were transferred to the Magnolia Stock Yards, which is an auction house.

“When they’re being abused, we need to have help to get these animals off the property. They have a vet that they call, and they know when to call a veterinarian to render livestock aid,” he explained.

In May, Stewart was also accused of animal cruelty involving two horses. Joy Reynolds, found and president of Rocking R Ranch and Rescue, took the animals in.

“Today, they are recovering from auction. We had the vet see everyone upon arrival yesterday,” she said.

At least one horse had to be put down. The remaining horses will be put up for adoption or given lifetime sanctuary at the rescue.

Stewart has been released on bond.

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