The Bedford County Sheriff's Office says it's received hundreds of calls from people concerned about the well-being a horse on a farm along Route 221, after a Facebook post went viral Wednesday claiming it was tied to a pole with a six foot rope and had icicles hanging off of it.
Major Ricky Gardner with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office tells WSLS 10 they received the initial call about the horse Tuesday at around 12:30pm. An animal control deputy arrived at the property, near Otter River Elementary, to investigate about 30 minutes later.
Gardner says following a thorough investigation, deputies determined that any claims the horse was being abused or neglected were "unfounded". Animal control deputies noted the horse was tied to a pole outside, but was healthy and fine. They say the owner had tied the male horse to a pole with a rope that was 50 - 75 feet in length to separate him from another male horse on the property so they wouldn't fight one another.
Gardner says under state law, livestock (which is the category horses fall under) are required to be given food, water, and veterinary services, but not shelter. Therefore, the owners did not violate any laws.
Deputies returned to the property Wednesday morning to follow up with the horse's owner, suggesting that they find a new home for it to prevent any future problems with the other male horse. A WSLS 10 crew stopped by the property Wednesday afternoon and the horse was not tied to the pole.
Gardner is asking people to stop calling dispatch about the incident, so that 911 dispatchers are available to take other emergency calls.