APPLING -- Four horses owned by a Dearing man were seized by Georgia Department of Agriculture authorities this week after an investigation by Columbia County's animal control and sheriff's offices.
The animals' owner, Willie Taylor, was issued citations for cruelty and neglect, said Linda Fulmer, Columbia County animal control director. The horses are at a state impoundment area in Jasper County.
Mr. Taylor already was on probation for a similar offense. In January, he was given a suspended fine of $2,000 and two years probation over cruelty cases involving other horses.
That case involved horses owned by Rosemary K. Green, 30, of Tudor Road, which were being kept on Mr. Taylor's property, according to state authorities.
In January, Ms. Green agreed to a consent decree ordering her to pay a $1,000 fine for failure to provide adequate food for the horses -- a 17-year-old mare and a 9-year-old gelding.
"When we went there and got those two horses last time, there were other horses in a separate pasture that, at the time, were fine," Ms. Fulmer said.
However, the horses have since deteriorated, she said. "And we got a call in February that he had two more on Whiteoak Road. They had nothing to eat, and this time of year they have no pasture to speak of."
Earlier this week, the four horses were examined by a state veterinarian and subsequently confiscated, Ms. Fulmer said. After the investigation is completed, the agriculture department will recommend a disposition, she said.