Waxhaw man leaves horses to starve and survive off tree bark, deputies say

A Waxhaw man is facing animal cruelty charges after he left his two horses to starve and survive off of tree bark at his home, according to the Union County Sheriff's Office. 

Benjamin Todd Moore, 47, has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and one count of allowing livestock to roam freely. He was booked into the Union County Jail on Thursday but was released on bond a short time later. 

Last August, Animal Services deputies responded to a call at Moore’s home concerning two horses in the road. As deputies arrived on scene, they found the horses’ owner, Moore, putting them back into their pasture. Deputies said they noticed both horses appeared thin and the pasture forage thin. 

Moore reportedly told deputies that he was 'supplementing their feed with grain.' Deputies recommended that Moore have the horses checked out by a vet.

Some time went by and deputies were called to the home again in January after neighbors reported the horses appeared to be starving and were eating tree bark. As deputies arrived at the house they saw the fencing for the pasture was still down in several places preventing the horses from getting loose.

According to the sheriff's office, after ignoring repeated requests to have the horses examined by a vet, repairing the fence around the pasture, and providing adequate food supply for the horses, deputies returned to Moore’s home on January 17, 2019 with a search warrant and seized the horses. They were taken to a local rescue where they are currently being cared for. 

The charges against Moore are pending court.