Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gary Belcher

Reporter: Randy Yohe; Hanna Francis

PRICHARD, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One year after 90 malnourished dogs, horses and mules were taken from his home in Prichard, Gary Belcher is in trouble again.

According to Wayne County Prosecutor Tom Plymale, Belcher was charged with two misdemeanors Thursday after seven dogs were taken from his home. Belcher was charged with fourth-offense cruelty to animals and violating an order that he was not to have dogs on his property for five years.

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Anita Asbury at the Huntington-Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter told the dogs were underweight, and many of them had skin conditions. One seemed to have a large tumor on its neck..." More & video

11pm 4/29/11: More Animal Neglect Uncovered
5pm Friday 6/25/10: Latest News on Rescued Horses
6pm Tuesday 6/8/10: Pleading Guilty to Animal Cruelty
6pm Wednesday 6/2/10: Update on Rescued Horses
Starving Horses Rescued

UPDATE 6/25/10 @ 9 p.m.
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One of the biggest animal rescues in West Virginia history happened last month when more than 50 starving and abused horses, donkeys and mules were seized from a Wayne County farm.

After weeks of intense trauma care, the local adoptions are now underway.

John Cundiff and his family of Point Pleasant say when they went to a adopt new family members Truman, Jet, and Princess, they didn't pick the horses -- the horses picked them.

The recovering trio was among 21 formerly starving horses -- now with new adoptive homes. The Simone family of Point Pleasant offered the Cundiffs a barn and decent pasture on their Old Town farmland.

John Cundiff is slowly feeding the horses a special nutritious blend of food. He says coming from a barren dry dirt pasture, some of the animals didn't know how to eat from a feeding bowl. And, he says if they took off the weight slowly, you have to put it back on slowly; otherwise they'll get sick..."

UPDATE 6/8/10 @ 1:25 p.m.
WAYNE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Wayne County man pleaded guilty to three charges of animal cruelty.

Gary Belcher entered the plea Tuesday morning in Wayne County Magistrate Court.

Earlier this month, authorities seized nearly 50 emaciated horses, mules and donkeys, along with 42 neglected puppies and dogs from Belcher's farm in Prichard.

As part of the plea, Belcher agreed to give up all rights to those animals..."

UPDATE 6/2/10 @ 6:30 p.m.
MASON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Food, water and care -- that’s what dozens of starving Wayne County horses, donkeys and mules are now enjoying after a Humane Society seizure last week.

Sheriff’s deputies say the owner will likely face more cruelty charges.

The big question we're getting is “How do I adopt?” That process should start in a few weeks.

The animals were removed from Gary Belcher's Wayne County farm last week. They’re slowly recovering at the Mason County Fairgrounds where the TLC highlights include hay, oats, water and simple, gentle kindness.

U.S. Humane Society rescuers say some of the 49 horses, donkeys and mules seized were very near death..."

UPDATE 06/01/10
PRICHARD, W.Va. (AP) -- A Prichard man has been charged with one count of animal cruelty over 51 emaciated horses, mules and donkeys found on his farm, along with 42 neglected puppies and dogs.

Wayne County Sheriff's Deputy Adam Baumgartner says more charges are likely.

Gary Belcher told television station WSAZ last week the horses were skinny when he got them, and he was trying to fatten them up.

But Baumgartner said Tuesday he's heard that claim several times over the years when he's investigated neighbors' complaints about starving animals..."

PRICHARD, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Hunger isn't normally something that can be seen, but when bones protrude it cannot be ignored.

The Humane Society of the United States participated in what officials are calling one of the largest animal seizes in the state of West Virginia Thursday morning, taking 40 to 50 horses from a man in Wayne County.

Gary Belcher is the owner of the horses, he says he did nothing wrong.

"They all eat good and I haven't had any problems with anything," Belcher said. He told the horses were skinny when he got them. "Trying to fatten them up," Belcher said. "They've come a long way."

Neighbors said they do not believe that is the case. Joe Stanley lives nearby, he said he has been making calls on the state Belcher's animals for ten years.

"I've seen horses come in here as pretty as a picture and leave as skeletons," Kenneth Leslie told "I've watched backhoe after backhoe of them being burried.".>."

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