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Bond Set For Man Charged With 18 Counts Of Animal Abuse

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(Somerville, TN) The Fayette County man charged with 18 counts of animal cruelty made his first court appearance today in Somerville, Tenn.

Bond was set at $90,000 for Anthony Richardson, who was arrested Tuesday after authorities found evidence of 18 starving and neglected horses and one mule.

But it was even worse - several more horses were found dead, and it all led to some emotional testimony in court Wednesday morning.

Doctor Jennifer Dunlap owns Dunlap Equine Services in Somerville.

"We just want to make sure that these horses get their day in court."

Wednesday morning, she was called to testify during Anthony Richardson's bond hearing.

She said she went to his property on Francis Road near Whiteville last week after complaints from the public about the condition of his horses.

"We found 19 horses, or 18 horses and one mule that were in extremely critical shape," said Dunlap.

Tuesday, Dunlap, Fayette County Animal Control and members of the American Humane Association rescued the malnourished animals and made a more startling discovery - the remains of four dead horses.

Dunlap said the odor was unmistakable.

"We could smell it coming from a mile away. Even with as cold as it's been, I can't imagine living in an environment where I have to smell death all around me," said Dr. Dunlap.

Anthony Richardson showed no emotion as Dunlap went over photographs of the rescued horses.

At one point, she broke down in tears showing pictures, taken by the American Humane Association, of how the starving horses stripped bark from trees in order to have something to eat.

"Whether its pieces of rock, bark. The manure these horses are producing is abnormal due to foreign objects that they've eaten. You know, if you're that hungry, you'll put just about anything in your mouth," said Dunlap.

Richardson's Attorney, Terry Dycus, wanted his own veterinarians to examine the horses arguing Wednesday was the first time he'd met with his client or even seen the pictures of the horses.

"There's always more to the story. And we need to work with our client to present his side of the story as well," said Attorney Terry Dycus.

Finally Judge Mike Whitaker set bond, while clutching the graphic images.

"This picture and the tree stripped of its bark tell me more than the veterinarians could possible tell me. I'm going to set his bond at five thousand dollars a horse, ninety thousand dollars bond," said Judge Whitaker.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Anthony Richardson had not made bond.

His next scheduled court date is March 24th.


  • upaces88

    Many serial killers begin their careers with abusing animals first.
    That usually elevates to children then adults.

  • Memphis

    Come on you rednecks where are all the “comments”???? If he was a few shades darker this page would be filled with them…Guess yall all on HillBilly Hill drinking..

    • Nona VanDamme

      a few shades darker has nothing to do with this. So no one saw this situation to report it? Horses eating bark from the trees is pretty disgusting, was this man eating? You bet he was. He has a mouth, he could have asked for help, he could have done something, did he have a job? Now thousands of thousands of dollars are needed that we all will need to donate to help HIS horses. If YA CANT FEED THEM, DONT GET THEM. He, like so many others must be ordered to have no more animals, a she is an abuser. I would hate to be living near him, as humans will be next. Sick minded, hoarder.

  • John Snow

    I just do not understand, if he could not afford to feed them then sell some to feed the others. Nothing was gained by letting them all die. I am sure he could have found adopted homes if he could not take care of them. It is a total shame.

  • Nona VanDamme

    would be nice to know more of the story, just got an alert that one horse DAWN went down just outside her stall, is now on IV’s and in the Anderson Sling, so weak she cant stand. Not good for her future, so emaciated horses organs start to fail. Hard to know what all they ate, due to the waste they are eliminating. Just why no one saw this until the horses were so far gone.. and 4 dead.. :(

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