A 22-year-old Texas woman was arrested on felony animal cruelty charges Friday, after 12 horses and 24 dogs were found dead on her property, according to a report.
Rachel Sword, 22, of Westminster, Texas, faces charges for cruelty to non-livestock animals, a third-degree felony and cruelty to livestock animals/abuse, a state jail felony, according to the Collin County website.
Sword lives on the property, which is owned by her grandparents who told officers they have trouble tending to their animals at their age and believed Sword was taking care of them, FOX 4 reported, citing the arrest warrant affidavit.
“Investigators located several deceased horses on the property,” the affidavit reportedly said. “The decay on the horses ranged from completely skeletonized to partially skeletonized with skin and fur, generally indicating the deaths were not recent.”
Some of the dogs were allegedly found dead inside cages in the RV Sword was living in and others were found where there was no relief from the sun.
“Collin County is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of all animals throughout the county, and incidents such as this are taken very seriously,” the Collin County Sheriff’s Office reportedly said in a release. “The Collin County Sheriff’s Office has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the abandonment or cruelty to animals.”
Sword reportedly told investigators the animals had belonged to her husband who recently died, but she had been too depressed to feed them.
After her arrest, investigators linked 16 previous animal cruelty or care-related complaints to the property, according to FOX 4.
Several other animals found alive on the property, including two horses, two dogs, a cow, a snake, two frogs and a bearded dragon are now under the care of animal services.
She remains in custody on an $85,000 bond, according to the Collin County’s website.