CCSO: 12 horses removed from property, owner overwhelmed

CCSO: 12 horses removed from property, owner overwhelmed
Published: Jan. 28, 2015 at 11:16 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2015 at 11:21 PM EST
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County Sheriff's Office says the Johns Island woman who had 12 horses removed from her property was not abusive.

Live 5 we received several complaints from her neighbors, concerned about the horses well being.

Deputies obtained a warrant and seized two adult horses from Susan Rebecca Housley's property last week. Officials say they were visibly in poor condition and not well fed.

A third horse seized was a baby and officials say it was only taken so it wouldn't be separated from its mother.

Nine more, in fair condition, were surrendered Monday.

Sheriff's officials say the Housley wasn't abusive, just overwhelmed.

Housley, 41, has a long history of caring for horses. Just two years ago, she was having College of Charleston students come to her Plowground Road property for horseback riding lessons. Animal control says her property is well equipped with horses and spacious. However, sheriff's officials says since the CofC contract ended, Housley's struggled to pay for the food and supplies needed to care for all of her horses, some of which are very old.

"It was not her intent to cause harm to the horses we learned that through our investigation," said Eric Watson, Charleston County Sheriff's Office. "That's why we charged her with a county ordinance, instead is a state ordinance.

A county ordinance charge carries less of a punishment.

Housley was charged with two animal care ordinance for the adult horses originally seized.

A judge will decide her fate, but she could face up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The 12 taken from her care will be placed in new homes by the Charleston County Animal Shelter.

The seven remaining horses on her property will continue to be checked up on by animal control.

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