JOHN HERBERT SHUFFLER charged with animal abuse/cruelty after 2 horses were seized from his property

- North Carolina, USA -

The Burke County Animal Enforcement issued a summons for 51-years-old JOHN HERBERT SHUFFLER which was served on Monday, October 11.

SHUFFLER, of 4897 Lakeview Acres Road, Valdese, has been charged with one misdemeanor count of animal abuse/cruelty after two horses were removed by Burke County Animal Services on the night of Friday, October 8.

The horses, who were found injured and emaciated, were removed as a result of an investigation.

Kaitlin Settlemyre, director of Burke County Animal Services said the two horses were in imminent danger and needed immediate veterinarian care. She called their condition extremely poor.

According to The News Herald, the summons says SHUFFLER “willfully did deprive of necessary sustenance and medical care a horse in an inhumane manner which jeopardized the safety of the animal.”

SHUFFLER is slated to appear in court on November 8, 2021.

Ms. Settlemyre said the female horse (black and white pictured) is in poor shape and she is always going to be in pain so the decision has been made to euthanize her. The mare is currently on pain medication and she’s getting “a lot of good loving” until her euthanization can be scheduled.

As for the other horse, a brown male (also pictured), he has a broken leg with a wound but he is improving.

As reported by The News Herald, Ms. Settlemyre said that Animal Services decided to give him about a month with conservative treatment, but, if after that he not able to bear weight, then he will too be euthanized.

Having said that, Ms. Settlemyre was told by the veterinarian that conservative treatment has proven to be successful in the past, so the vet is hopeful in this case.

Ms. Settlemyre also said: “They’re both very sweet.”

The News Herald reports that Animal Services first saw SHUFFLER’s horses in a field on September 1. According to an incident report, Animal Services saw six horses who had a round bale of hay, one horse who was thin, and another horse who was extremely thin.

The pasture appeared poor, with minimal grass.

Animal Services returned to the property a week later and on that occasion there was no sign of the emaciated horse who was there on September 1.

Animal Services then inquired about that horse and SHUFFLER said the horse had fallen into a ditch, could not get back up, and passed away.

Animal Services asked him why the horse was so thin, and the explanation he gave was that the horse was pretty wild and he was unable to pen her or deworm her to properly care for her.

Among the horses there was also a white mare who was emaciated, had a swollen knee, and due to her arthritis, she could not be penned.

SHUFFLER told Animal Services he had dewormed her a week prior and was supplementing her with sweet feed. He added that he had bought the mare a month ago at an auction and that she had gained weight.

Two other horses were penned in the barn in manure about 3 feet deep and their heads were approaching the roof rafters.

Animal Services told SHUFFLER that the horses needed to be moved to clean stalls and he said that he was physically unable to clean the stalls.

Animal Services told SHUFFLER he needed to figure out a way to get the stalls cleaned either by hiring help or do it himself little by little. Animal Service then advised SHUFFLER they would be back to check on the horses and conditions.

As reported by The McDowell News, on Tuesday, October 12, “the Burke County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1, with Maynard Taylor opposing, to amend the county animal ordinance that would allow animal enforcement officers to obtain warrants to investigate animal cruelty cases. The amended ordinance section allows animal enforcement, who are not sworn officers, to ‘obtain administrative search and inspection warrants and conduct other lawful searches and inspections’ as permitted by state law, if the owner doesn’t give consent to search the premises.”

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