LANDIS, NC (WBTV) - A Landis woman is facing animal cruelty charges after officers discovered five horses in the woman's pasture in "Very poor condition," say officials.
Teresa Burkett is accused of not providing enough food or clean water and is also accused of not providing necessary medical care for the horses.
One of the five animals was in bad enough shape that veterinarians checking on the horses Monday morning decided that horse had to be euthanized.
"It's just sad," said Tammy Barbee who has been helping animal control officers with the horses.
"They are in very bad shape," she said. "You should not be able to see the bones sticking out like that and the ribs."
Authorities say it appears the horses had been improperly fed for months and say it will take many more months to nurse them back to proper health.
"We will do what we have to to make sure they are okay," said officer Jessica Sartain.
Burkett was still in jail Monday afternoon under a bond of $5,000.
Her family did not want to go on camera with WBTV News but said Burkett had good intentions about the horses, but also said she did not have the means to take them and could not bring herself to giving them up.
Thomas Staton who is the field supervisory for Rowan County Animal Control says that is not an excuse for mistreating animals.
He says there are groups that will step in to help or take the horses in if owners cannot properly care for them. He urges people in situations like Burkett's to ask for help.
"If they will just call us we will put them in contact with the resources."
With long term care needed for the horses, the Animal Shelter is asking for donations of feed, basic horse supplies, medical supplies and also money to help pay for the vet bills.
Anyone wishing to help is advised to call the shelter first.
Burkett has a court date of Nov. 12 in Salisbury.