Starvation death of Delores the horse sparks outrage and change

Rescue crews attend to Delores, who later had to be put down.

A disturbing animal cruelty case in Cherokee County will bring change in how reports are handled. Three of the horses are recovering at the Red Clay Rescue across the Georgia line. A mare found near death had to be euthanized.

Neighbors called on Fighting For You to investigate why their cries for help were not answered sooner.

Joell McBurnett went to the property last Wednesday after seeing Facebook pictures of the horses. She found the mare named Delores tied up and too weak to stand. Others from the community also came to help bringing water and tarps to shade the horse. “I was crushed when I arrived on scene; it’s still very difficult,” said Pam Graham who drove from Georgia after getting a call from her friend, McBurnett desperate for help.

At one point law enforcement ordered them off the “private property” on county road 32 in Cherokee County. The only way they could get a veterinarian to the horses was to buy them from the owners for $100.

“She was in real bad shape… euthanasia was the best choice,” explained Cherokee County’s Veterinarian Dr. Jeremy Deaton. Delores had a severe case of rain rot which is a skin infection and she was severely malnourished.

Leon Green and Latoya Green of Gadsden are charged with aggravated cruelty to animals. They do not live on the property where the horses were discovered, but were reported to be the owners.

So many in the community were left asking why did this go on for so long? Neighbors say the horse was in absolute misery, starving and baking in the sun. “To know that they walked away and left that animal to suffer. Many people will have to answer the question why didn’t they do more?” questions Joell McBurnett.

ABC3340 News has learned a neighbor called law enforcement on June 8th. In pictures from that day Delores appears extremely malnourished. A month later pictures show her near death as the community posted horrifying photos and video of her…

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