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Horses Taken from Peaceable Farm Seized Again from Horse Rescue

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File Image: Investigators, veterinarians and animal rescuers at Peaceable Farm File Image: Investigators, veterinarians and animal rescuers at Peaceable Farm
ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

An animal cruelty investigation unfolding in King William County has ties to an animal cruelty case from Orange County.

Several horses seized from Peaceable Farm have again been taken by authorities after deputies received multiple complaints that the animals at New Beginnings Horse Rescue had little or no food and water.

Wednesday, June 8, the King William Sheriff's Office Animal Control unit seized 42 horses from New Beginnings.

Orange County Commonwealth's Attorney Diana O'Connell says six of the horses seized had come from Peaceable Farm.

In October 2015, deputies with the Orange County Sheriff's Office led a raid at Peaceable Farm. Over a hundred horses and many cats and dogs were discovered on the Somerset property. Anne Goland (aka Anne Shumate Williams) surrendered over 80 horses, 28 cats, and 7 dogs over the course of a few days.

Eleven horses from Peaceable Farm were taken to New Beginnings.

O'Connell says animal rescue organizations do not have state oversight, and that she and other officials were led to believe New Beginnings was a legitimate rescue organization.

A joint statement from O'Connell, Orange County Attorney Thomas E. Lacheney, and Sheriff Mark A. Amos says:

We understand, and share, the deep concern and frustration of all those who are outraged at the suffering these horses have endured.

The fact that the situation in King William County is strikingly similar to what occurred in Orange County last October underscores the reality that the lack of oversight, inspection and regulation of animal rescue facilities in Virginia limits the ability of local government to prevent, manage or budget for these situations.

The King William Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is ongoing, and that charges are pending.

The commonwealth’s attorney for King William County is said to be on vacation, so charges won't be placed until after he returns on Tuesday.

Goland is facing 27 charges of animal cruelty and 13 charges of embezzlement.

Press Release from the King William Sheriff’s Office:

The King William Sheriff’s Office Animal Control unit seized 42 horses from a farm on Upshaw Road yesterday.

The seizure was a result of an ongoing investigation into animal cruelty by the farm owners. Animal control deputies had received multiple complaints of malnourished and unhealthy horses with little or no food or water.

The farm operating as New Beginnings Horse Rescue brought horses to the farm as rescues to rehabilitate.

The investigation is continuing and charges are pending at this time.

Press Release from Orange County Commonwealth's Attorney, Orange County Sheriff Office, and Orange County Attorney:

New Beginnings Horse Rescue, a privately owned facility in Aylett Virginia, King William County has been subject to a seizure by King William authorities.

Forty (40) of horses were seized due to poor condition and lack of care. Regretfully, eleven (11) horses from the Peaceable Farm seizure in Orange County last October, ten (10) of which were surrendered by Anne Williams to this rescue. Six (6) of those horses were among the seizure in King William yesterday June 8, 2016.

Unfortunately animal rescue organizations in the Commonwealth of Virginia do not have state oversight. They are not inspected or regulated.

During the Orange County seizure in October of 2015, our Animal Control Office faced a crisis situation involving more than one hundred horses, and we were led to believe New Beginnings was a legitimate rescue organization.

It is deeply discouraging that these horses have suffered abuse and lack of care again. Unfortunately, Orange County does not have jurisdiction over these animals. The Commonwealth's Attorney and the Sheriff agree that criminal law enforcement jurisdiction regarding these horses is with King William County and not Orange County. The County Attorney for Orange confirms that we have no civil jurisdiction or legal property interest in these animals since they have been moved.

We understand, and share, the deep concern and frustration of all those who are outraged at the suffering these horses have endured. The fact that the situation in King William County is strikingly similar to what occurred in Orange County last October underscores the reality that the lack of oversight, inspection and regulation of animal rescue facilities in Virginia limits the ability of local government to prevent, manage or budget for these situations.

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