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Rush county man charged with neglecting dozens of animals

Authorities seized 28 horses, along with donkeys, mules and a bull. Three animals were found dead and a fourth later died.

RUSHVILLE, Ind. — Rush County animal rescuers were stunned by what they found inside a Rushville business. They walked into a sickening scene. More than 30 animals were living in filth as they starved — some were already dead.

"The conditions were horrific," said Kasey Hanna, director of the Rushville Animal Shelter. "To see animals in that state with no food or water, it pulled at anyone's heart strings."

Last Friday, authorities seized 28 horses, along with donkeys, mules and a bull. Three animals were found dead and a fourth later died.

Credit: Rushville Animal Shelter
A donkey rescued from a Rushville business.

"It is sad to know it is happening right under our noses and we weren't even aware there was an issue," Hanna said.

They weren't alerted until someone complained about the livestock sale business located just outside of Rushville.

This week the prosecutor charged 22-year-old William Haley with charges including failure to properly dispose of a dead animal, torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal, and cruelty to an animal.

Credit: Rush County Sheriff's Office
William Haley

The Rushville animal shelter doesn't have the room or staff to handle such a large number of large animals. They've been placed with an animal rescue operation.

"They've got full bellies. They are happy with that," Hanna said. "You are not going to see a change in a week or two. It's a matter of months and months."

Credit: Rushville Animal Shelter

And that takes lots of money. Food and medical care are expected to cost thousands of dollars. So the shelter set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds needed to nurse the animals back to health.