Bledsoe Co. woman gives up horses following threat of charges - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Bledsoe Co. woman gives up horses following threat of charges

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BLEDSOE COUNTY, TN. (WRCB)  --  There was little Bledsoe County resident Jonna Altman could do when the county veterinarian and the sheriff's department showed up to examine her horses Friday.

"The fences were all pushed over towards the outside of the pasture which means the horses were trying to get something to eat," says Veterinarian Matthew Sachs.  

Earlier in the week, Altman says someone had poisoned them and that's why they're so thin. "I examined them, there's no evidence of any poison," Sachs says.  

Sachs has visited Altman's property several times in the last four years.

"Every time I've come out here, except for one, I've had to euthanize a horse because of starvation," he says.

That didn't happen on this trip, but he says a couple of the seven horses are walking a thin line.

"If they don't gain weight they won't survive the winter," says Sachs. "Every one of these horses have their ribs, you can see their hips sticking out. They're fighting over feed down there now."

Sachs explained to Altman that if she didn't give up her horses they could be put down and she could spend the night in jail. 

"She could possibly be facing seven counts of animal neglect," says Bledsoe County Sheriff Jim Morris.  

The group of horses were taken away Friday. Sachs wouldn't say where the horses are headed, just that they'll be in a heated barn for the winter with lots of food and the funds to take care of them.

As for Altman, the sheriff says he can't stop her from buying more horses but for her sake and theirs, he hopes she doesn't and Sachs agrees.

"I don't think this is intentional, I think she has some issues, she needs to get some help," Sachs says. "I don't think she needs to go to jail."

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