A Hawkinsville woman has been indicted on a charge of aggravated animal cruelty in the death of one of her horses in August.
Nancy Beth Hagan, 57, is accused of causing the death “by maliciously failing to provide said animal with adequate water,” according to the indictment returned Tuesday by a Houston County grand jury.
Hagan previously told The Telegraph that she thought the horse died from encephalitis, a sudden inflammation of the brain, and disputed comments made by the county’s animal control officer, Alan Smith.
On Aug. 22, Hagan was told by Smith and Tommy Sheffield, a senior inspector for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, to have a veterinarian examine the horse within 24 hours, according to a sheriff’s incident report.
When the officials returned the next day, the horse was found dead in the grass of a neighbor’s yard on Pitts Road, the report said. The horse had been tied to a tree without access to water, according to Smith.
Hagan said the horse was tethered outside her neighbor’s home on property she actually owns after getting loose from her property off East Ga. 26. She said the horse was too weak to be moved and had access to water.
“I loved that horse more than anything,” Hagan said.
If convicted of aggravated animal cruelty, she faces one to five years imprisonment, up to a $15,000 fine, or both, according to state law.