Thirty dead horses were found in Oklahoma in the worst case of animal cruelty ever seen. In addition to at least 30 carcasses, authorities recovered 64 starving horses, 28 dogs, several goats and a chinchilla. Caroline (Nichole) Vaughn, age 37, was reportedly running an animal rescue operation that turned into a horrific case of animal cruelty and hoarding.
Authorities were alerted to the situation when a neighbor reported that they suspected Vaughn was hoarding animals. They had no idea that they would walk into what they later described as “the worst case of animal abuse” they had ever seen.
As reported by the Huffington Post, the scene was heartbreaking. Even worse, this is the second time Vaughn is being accused of cruelty to animals. In 2010 Vaugh was charged with cruelty in connection to an alleged puppy mill. During that investigation a reported 59 neglected dogs and puppies were removed from the same property. Vaughn was convicted of the charges, but still managed to collect and abuse over 100 more animals on her property.
Authorities who discovered the 30 dead horses arrested Vaughn on charges of animal cruelty and failure to properly dispose of carcasses. Vaughn maintains that she was running an animal rescue organization.
As reported by OKCFox.com, Seminole County Sheriff’s deputies have stated that this is the worst case they have ever seen. Deputy David Hanson states that many of the surviving horses looked like “walking skeletons.”
On Saturday, volunteers from Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue rescued the surviving horses. They will be documented, assessed, and treated by a veterinarian. They are working toward placing the horses in foster homes. The organization is accepting donations as they expect treatment for horses to exceed $10,000.
Vaughn is currently being held in the Seminole County Jail on $100,000 bond. Unfortunately it is too late for the 30 dead horses, but the equine rescue organization is making every effort to save the remaining animals. Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue is accepting donations via PayPal.