Crime & Courts

29 horses rescued after owner allegedly continued to neglect their health

Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office

Calhoun County sheriff’s deputies charged a man with ill treatment to animals after one of the horses on his farm died and several others were found to be in need of immediate medical care.

Sheriff Thomas Summers said in April, sheriff’s deputies were sent to a farm in St. Matthews after receiving information regarding the malnourishment of horses at a horse farm. When deputies arrived, they discovered that one of the horses was dead, and a veterinarian determined that additional horses at the farm needed immediate medical care.

Summers said the veterinarian gave 64-year-old Ronald Hevener a plan to help bring the horses back to an acceptable level of health. Later that month, sheriff’s deputies, along with animal control officers, conducted welfare checks at the farm and determined that the level of care was depriving the horses of necessary nourishment. On April 14, Hevener was charged with eight counts of ill treatment to animals. Hevener was released on a personal recognizance bond that same day.

On May 12, sheriff’s deputies returned to the farm to conduct additional welfare checks and determined that the horses were still not receiving adequate care. Hevener was charged with an additional count of ill treatment to animals, Summers said. Based on the conditions the horses were living in and the lack of care they were receiving, sheriff’s deputies seized 29 horses from the farm.

Summers said the horses are currently being cared for by the county’s animal control officers as well as the Humane Society and the Arabian Horse Rescue. Several residents and business owners in the area have donated food and man power needed to help with the horses’ upkeep.