The owner of an Orange County farm where investigators discovered dead horses and cats and dozens more sickly animals is staying in jail.
Anne Goland, who goes by several other names including Anne Shumate Williams, is being held without bond for another night at the Central Virginia Regional Jail. She is charged with 27 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.
Tuesday, 57-year-old Goland testified about her horses during a bond hearing at Orange Co. General District Court.
Goland testified her now ex-husband cut funding for the nonprofit horse rescue operation at Peaceable Farm in July 2014. She said she continued to feed and care for the horses while trying to find them new homes.
In court, sheriff's investigators described the filth and decomposing animal carcasses they discovered in a raid conducted on October 19. The Orange County building inspector says the house on the property is "unfit to occupy" with no running water.
The county and animal rescue groups removed 81 living horses and dozens of cats and dogs from Peaceable Farm last week.
Judge David Barredo decided to deny bond, believing Goland is a flight risk and a risk to animals.
“I applaud the judge for saying this did not happen overnight. That was what we wanted to say; It didn't happen overnight,” said animal lover Terry Marshall.
Currently, there are more than a dozen horses deemed too healthy for the county to seize remain at Peaceable Farm. Goland's attorney argued she should be allowed out of jail so that she can care for them. The defense says the only people who can do that right now are Goland’s sister and a friend.
Marshall asked, “If she couldn't take care of them a week ago, what makes you think she can take care of them now?”
Goland claims she stopped taking in rescue horses in July 2014. Her neighbor, Doug Garner, says that's not true.
“During this whole summer, I saw horses - new horses - come in or horses that I hadn't previously seen. Most of them in very good condition,” he said.
Garner, who also owns horses, lives across from the Peaceable Farm pasture in Somerset. He listened to Goland's testimony in court.
“I just don't think her motives were in the best interest of the horses,” Garner said.
The neighbor says he watched the horses slowly deteriorate the last few months with little to no hay to eat as summer weather dried up the farm's grazing fields.
“It's really heart-wrenching to anybody who knows horses and loves horses to see this kind of thing happen,” said Garner.
The defense says there are a lot of details they'd like to clear up. NBC29 has reached out to the attorney, but have yet to hear back from him.
Goland is scheduled back in court at 9 a.m. Wednesday for an arraignment on those cruelty charges.
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