Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

September 14, 2012

Mistreated, abused: Code Enforcement deputies rescue horse, dog in Tazewell

TAZEWELL, Va. — Click here for video

The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office has transformed the stable at the Tazewell County Fairgrounds into a temporary horse infirmary, as a trio of horses recovered by deputies working with the Code Enforcement department are now recovering from symptoms of malnutrition, halter sores and neglect.

Deputy Jeff Cole of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office acted on a tip from the public and recovered a severely malnourished 4-year-old quarter horse that had been haltered and tied up on Daw Road in Raven, Va. After being examined by a veterinarian, the horse was moved to a stall at the stables on the fairground.

“With these open sores, the damage to his hoofs and the way his ribs are showing, you can tell that he’s been mistreated and abused for months and months,” Officer LeRoy Long of the Tazewell, Va., Police Department Code Enforcement said. “The veterinarian said the prognosis is good. We have him on a strict diet and we’ll adjust for whatever additional nutrients he needs.”

Long said that the horse’s owner is unknown, but he encouraged anyone who might know the owner’s identity to call 276-988-1160 and leave a message with Code Enforcement. Since the first of June, the Code Enforcement deputies have rescued 140 dogs, three horses and two alligators.

“This is just a sample of what they have been able to accomplish since the first of June,” Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt said.

“This is just so sad,” Major Harold Heatley of the Sheriff’s office said.

In addition to the abused and neglected horse, Long picked up a 2-year-old American Boxer that had its neck wrapped in a steel cable. The dog had swelling around its neck, beneath where the cable had been as well as some cuts on his  head that were bleeding.

Other than that, the Boxer appeared to be a very well-mannered dog. Long said he picked him up in Doran Bottom, near Richlands, Va.

“I’m an animal lover, so I hate to see something like this,” Long said.

— Contact Bill Archer at

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