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Couple charged with animal cruelty to horses

Posted at 11:31 PM, Apr 29, 2016
A Polk County man was charged with felony cruelty to animal and animal cruelty after his horses were taken away from his home.
 
"I actually drove by the other day and I looked at them and they actually had some hay out in the front, but they looked really, really bad at that point," a neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous, said.
 
According to an affidavit, an officer went to William Stokes' home on Tuesday to check on a horse that was on the ground and had been on the ground for more than 48 hours.
 
The report indicated the horse was having trouble breathing and could not move. The horse died as the officer investigated the case.
 
The officer noticed a second horse with a serious infection and the burned skeletal remains of a third horse. The remaining horses that were alive were taken away from the property.
 
According to authorities, Stokes' wife will face the same charges.
 
"Like I said, I don't know if it (was) intentional or not. I think he genuinely does love horses, but he just …they're just not in (the) financial situation to be able to maintain horses like that," a neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous, said.
 
According to authorities, Stokes did not call a vet or seek medical treatment for some of his horses.
 
"If I (would have) seen something, I'm sure I would have…I know…I would have said something," Shelly Rivera, Stokes neighbor, said.