Woman charged after 22 horses, dog found dead on abandoned farm

Local News
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Authorities confirmed Wednesday that the 22 horses and one dog found dead on a North Carolina property Friday died of starvation.

Janet Elaine Laven Burleson, 64, was arrested Wednesday in connection with the case, according to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. She is charged with 24 counts of killing an animal by starvation, according to arrest records.

A news release from the sheriff’s office also said that the property, according to tax records, belonged to Burleson’s deceased parents. 

Tips from neighbors and Burleson’s family members indicated that “she was the one who owned and had brought the horses to the property sometime over the past summer, but then stopped caring for them a few months ago.”

Burleson is being held at the Wake County Detention Center under a $250,000 bond. 

A necropsy report Wednesday “indicated the animals died due to starvation,” the release said. It was at that time that Burleson’s brother encouraged her to meet with investigators. 

She was taken into custody following an interview, the release said. 

Neighbors who live near the property say they had not seen anyone come by to check on the horses in two months. 

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