(Whiteville, TN) Bond has been set in the case of a man charged with starving horses to death.
Anthony Richardson had a $90,000 bond set, which is $5,000 for each count.
Richardson, who is charged with 18 counts of animal cruelty, wants to have a veterinarian of his choice examine the horses.
Eighteen horses and one mule were rescued Tuesday morning from a private facility in Whiteville, Tenn.
The American Humane Association said the animals were "literally starving to death."
Fifteen of the horses are in critical condition.
Their body scores are all only 1 out of a possible 9 for health.
“It was a terrible sight,” said Josh Cary, a longtime member of the American Humane Association's Red Star animal emergency services team. “Over the years we have been involved in many rescues, but the conditions of the animals here were some of the worst we’ve seen. The horses were emaciated, some just skin and bones. Fortunately, they are now in our hands and we hope to save as many as we can, and bring them back to health.”
The rescued animals were moved and will be given food, medical treatment, and intensive care.
Tuesday evening, one of the horses nibbled at hay, food he hasn't had in months.
Reporter: "How underweight is he?"
Dr. Jennifer Dunlap: "He’s about 400 pounds underweight at this point."
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department called the American Humane Association in after animal control noticed the starving horses.
Some were so weak they could barely walk.
“The main mistake people make in the winter is this very long hair coat can often hide a multitude of sins. What we can see on her is her vertebra is sticking out. Her shoulder blade is sticking out. We can put our fingers down into her ribs,” Dr. Dunlap said about one of the mares.
Four other horses died before they could be saved.
“I can’t understand how anyone could treat them this way. We are just glad that we are able to be here, our volunteers could respond to the call, and the American public supports us,” Chris Paladino with the American Humane Association said.
“(The horses) will cared for 24/7 until they stabilize, and then will be transported to a more permanent shelter,” Paladino added.
Two years ago, the Red Star team helped rescue 141 dogs that were being transported in a U-Haul trailer.
The team also assisted in the removal and care of more than 140 animals, which someone had hoarded in a Moscow, Tenn., home.