Local man arrested for animal cruelty

PHIL CAMPBELL – A local man was arrested last weekend and charged with animal cruelty after three dead horses and a dead mule were found on his property and others in his care were said to be malnourished, officials said.

Larry Burleson, 61, of Pine Tree Road in Phil Campbell, was arrested on 12 counts of animal cruelty, Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver said.

According to Oliver, the sheriff’s office received a call on Dec. 28 from a concerned member of the community who reported seeing dead horses in a pasture on Pine Tree Road in Phil Campbell.

Oliver said deputies were dispatched to the pasture in question where they discovered three dead horses and one mule that was also dead.

While investigating the case further, Oliver said deputies discovered four more horses and four more mules on the property that appeared to be malnourished.

“It was a really sad situation,” Oliver said.

“The animals had water but didn’t have anything to eat – no hay, no feed, and the grass in the field had been chewed down to the dirt.”

After determining Burleson was the owner of the animals, deputies questioned him and ultimately arrested him on the animal cruelty charges, Oliver said.

“We immediately took custody of the animals and began getting them the nourishment they needed,” Oliver said.

According to Oliver, Burleson signed the animals over this week, allowing them to be placed in the care of other appropriate owners.

“We were able to find homes for all the remaining animals,” Oliver said.

“We’re just glad they’re now getting the care they need.”

Animal cruelty is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail if convicted.

Burleson is currently out of jail on a $6,000 bond.

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