The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

February 10, 2011

Authorities make grisly discovery at Greenbrier farm

21 horses dead; vet believes they starved

Responding to an anonymous tip Wednesday, law enforcement officers discovered numerous dead horses at a Greenbrier County farm.

Standing at the Shawver’s Crossing site along U.S. 60 early Thursday morning, Sheriff James Childers said, “This is pitiful. This is awful.”

Childers said, as of 9 a.m., a veterinarian he called in had identified 21 dead animals. He said the vet believes the horses starved to death.

“There’s no evidence of feed anywhere on the farm that we’ve been yet,” Childers said. “The vet’s opinion is the animals died for lack of food.”

All of the animals were found in an open field on the 300-acre farm, which the sheriff said is owned by Grady Whitlock of Raleigh County.

“I’ve been on the phone with the owner in Beckley, and he’s not sure how many horses are on this farm; he owns two farms in Greenbrier County and a couple more in Raleigh County,” Childers said.

Childers said Whitlock’s best guess was that there were between 85 and 100 horses on the Shawver’s Crossing farm. The sheriff said Whitlock told him there were live horses on the farm Wednesday, but the search for them had yielded no results by early Thursday morning.

“If they don’t find more dead animals out here, I’ll be shocked,” Childers said.

He added that Whitlock said he was sending “someone with a dump truck” to collect all the carcasses.

Register-Herald attempts to reach Whitlock by phone Thursday morning were unsuccessful.

Because Whitlock told him a single individual is responsible for monitoring conditions at all four farms, Childers said he plans to secure access to the other Greenbrier County property Whitlock owns and to alert Raleigh County authorities to the possibility of similar conditions at farms located in that jurisdiction.

This is not the first time complaints have been made about conditions at Whitlock’s Shawver’s Crossing farm. In January 2006, The Register-Herald reported animal control officers were investigating a situation involving 60 miniature horses that were allegedly being neglected at the farm.

At that time, Whitlock denied owning the horses.

That incident was resolved when the unidentified owner of the animals was pressured under threat of legal action to move them out of the marshy area where they had been kept.

— E-mail: talvey@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • State DHHR workers to picket over large caseloads

    West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources employees are picketing outside the agency's Fayette County office to raise awareness over what they call large, unmanageable caseloads.

    July 29, 2014

  • Arch Coal posts bigger 2Q loss

    Arch Coal Inc. said Tuesday that its second-quarter loss widened partly because of nagging rail disruptions and weaker prices for coal used in making steel, though cost controls helped the coal producer's latest earnings surpass analysts' expectations.

     

    July 29, 2014

  • Tunnel.jpg Tunnel traffic to be restricted to one lane for repairs

    Highway crews are planning to do additional repairs Tuesday night and Wednesday night inside of the East River Mountain. As a result, traffic inside of the tunnel will be limited to one lane in both directions, according to Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Earl.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meth lab bust nets two Raleigh residents

    An anonymous phone call about two children in danger led authorities to a meth lab bust and the arrests of two Raleigh County residents Monday night.

    July 29, 2014

  • Congress closes in on benefits for veterans

    On the cusp of Congress’s lengthy summer break, factions sparring over legislation to strengthen health care and funding reforms for the Department of Veterans Affairs may have reached a compromise.

    July 29, 2014

  • Voters to decide on youth nonprofit tax status

    Legislation passed late in the session in March will put one issue on the November ballot for voters — whether Boy Scouts’ Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve will be able to rent its property and facilities to other organizations, and not pay property taxes on its 10,600 acres in Fayette County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge denies continuance; murder trial to begin Aug. 5

    The trial of a 24-year-old man accused of the first-degree murder of his stepfather will go on as scheduled, after a judge denied a defense motion Monday for a continuance.

    July 29, 2014

  • Litter can endanger public health

    Cleaning up Wyoming County remains an ongoing priority, according to County Commissioner Silas Mullins.

    July 29, 2014

  • tex Legends

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thief smashes AccessHealth Daniels' clinic's door

    July 28, 2014