An injured, malnourished horse was euthanized Thursday afternoon in a Bibb County animal cruelty case involving several dozen animals.
Thats the best thing for the horse, said Jeannette Smith, an equine inspector for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. It will be pretty quick.
The horses back right hoof was overgrown and bent back.
Irreparable damage, said Smith, after inspecting the horse in the backyard of 2169 Walden Road where two horses with ribs showing had no place to graze in the dirt.
Raymond Allison Carlisle, 52, a tattoo artist, was arrested and booked into the Bibb County jail shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Carlisle is charged with two felony counts of animal cruelty for the horses and 13 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty for other animals that were found on the property.
He also received 26 citations from the Bibb Animal Welfare Department for not having cats and dogs properly inoculated, said Lt. Sean DeFoe, public affairs officer for the Bibb County Sheriffs Office.
Animal Welfare officer Bruce Rozier called Assistant Bibb County District Attorney Sara Roberts, who began an investigation Wednesday night at the house near railroad tracks not far from the Middle Georgia Regional Airport.
Roberts said several dogs inside the house were found in small crates with no food or water.
She called Jody Nelson of the animal rescue group Paws and Adopt, and Nelson took two of the dogs home with her Wednesday night.
Five dogs out back fought for food, and you dont see that with dogs fed every day, Roberts said.
More than a dozen skinny cats were roaming free with two goats in the house, she said.
The urine smell was ungodly, and goat droppings were all over, Roberts said.
Carlisle showed her half-full bags of cat and dog food, but no other food.
I was sort of amazed at what I saw, she said.
Roberts said Carlisle told her he didnt want the injured horse to gain too much weight because of its bad leg, but he did not explain why the second horse was so thin.
Roberts said when she went to feed what she thought were two dogs in a pen, three more came scrambling from the bushes.
The goats and horses also were trying to gobble up the dog food, she said.
Someone reported the animals plight to Georgia State Patrol Senior Trooper Keith Wilson, who was running radar Wednesday afternoon on Ga. 247.
Wilson, who keeps horses on his own property, said when he saw the extent of the horses leg injury, he knew it should be euthanized.
He just didnt know hed be the one to pull the trigger.
I love animals. I didnt want to do it, Wilson said. But then, I knew I had to.
After consulting with an expert about the most humane method, Wilson lifted a 12-gauge shotgun early Thursday afternoon and fired behind the horses ear.
It dropped to the ground on the dirt road, not far from a patch of overgrown, green grass the horse munched on minutes before.
Its already dead, Smith said about 15 seconds after the shotgun blast.
A backhoe was standing by, ready to load the dead horse into a truck, presumably to be disposed of at the landfill.
Wilson said people shouldnt have animals if they cant properly care for them.
I dont see how anybody can make a horse go through that without doing something, Wilson said. You can look at the face of that horse and know its in pain.
The horses were penned up with more than a dozen goats, three donkeys, numerous chickens, ducks, guinea fowl and turkeys.
A few rabbits were in pens in the front yard, and there were empty cages and a doghouse along the side of the house.
Another dog was chained to a propane tank out front.
Its horrible, Wilson said. It reminds me of hoarders. They cant afford to feed those animals.
A passerby noting the patrol cars and animal welfare trucks outside Thursday morning yelled out his car window, Its about time!
Linda Prince Perry, who owns property surrounding Carlisles house, said she got a call about Wednesday nights commotion from her tenants across the railroad tracks.
Its bizarre. Its insane, Perry said.
She gave Carlisle permission to put up pens for the goats on her property when he moved into his grandparents house about 18 months ago.
His animal population has exploded since then, said Perry, who had not noticed the horses because she rarely travels down the dirt road next to the makeshift barnyard.
Youve got all those animals. Why would you let the horses get in that shape? she asked.
None of the other animals outside showed obvious signs of injury, neglect or abuse.
Theres no animal cruelty here, theres not, said a woman who identified herself as Carlisles mother. The animals get fed better than I do.
She said the crippled horse had been that way for 15 years, but investigators said they had heard varying accounts of how long it had been afflicted.
Smith, who inspected the horses Thursday, said other equine inspectors had been on the property before. Another veterinarian previously did not recommend euthanasia, she said.
Carlisles mother did not want to give her name, but said: They did not want to put it down because they love it.
Agriculture inspectors went to the jail for Carlisle to sign a release so they could remove the other horse and the donkeys.
A woman believed to be Carlisles wife earlier refused to sign the paperwork for an animal welfare officer.
After some wrangling, the four animals were loaded into a trailer and taken to an impound facility where their health will be evaluated by the state.
Carlisles mother insisted the animals were not neglected.
It might not be a pretty sight, but theyre fed and taken care of, she said.
Her son raises animals to sell and had her permission to move them to her parents property.
We have some nosey neighbors, she said. If they worried about children as much as the animals, wed all be a lot better off.
Carlisle cannot have any animals in his care if he posts his $18,295 bond, a judge told him Thursday afternoon in Magistrate Court.
As Nelson, of Paws and Adopt, removed the two 7-month-old puppies whose bones were showing, she became overwhelmed by the stench. The female was pregnant by its brother.
She cant have the puppies, thats inbreeding. Its sad, Nelson said. A lot of the goats are pregnant.
She is working through red tape to rescue the other animals, and other groups have volunteered to help.
Anyone interested in adoptions can contact her through Paws and Adopts Facebook page or at email@example.com.
I really dont see how anyone can say he loves animals, she said.
To contact Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.