Horses & Dogs Found Dead, Authorities Say Owner Committed Suicide

More than a dozen horses and three dogs are dead after authorities say they were most likely neglected by their owner.

The SBI is investigating the animal deaths on Tram Road in Duplin County.

Sheriff's officials say when they went to arrest the animals' owner Clifford Jacobs, he took his own life.

Sheriff Blake Wallace says his office was called last summer about the animals and he says they were underweight but did not appear to be without food or water.

Wallace says his department was called again Friday night and that the animals looked emaciated.

He said there was feed and water still available. But when authorities went to Jacobs' home Sunday to check on the animals' more than half of them had died.

Sheriff's officials say Jacobs had a criminal history of assaulting officers and had access to several firearms.

About 10 horses were rescued from the property.


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  • by debilyn Location: Duplin on Mar 3, 2010 at 05:58 AM
    If he was depressed surely some1 in his family or friends should have stepped in to help him.Now he's dead & family & friends have to deal with his loss. If the horses were that bad off last time some1 checked,some1 should have been checking on them more closely b4 the animals died to protect the animals.One person alone sometimes dont have the control to make the right decisions if they are sick.I am really sad for the horses and dogs don't get me wrong,but we need to put human life as important if not more imp than animal life.I feel the system protects animal life & will step in and spend money on the animals,but not help a person in need as much.He died because he was scared&knew he was going to be fined,humiliated in the news,or jailed.We as humans need to step up when we see a situation as this and help, even if its not our family member to help that person.Do what God would do.Feel so sad it had to end this way.And his families & friends life will never be the same again. debilyn
  • by Cat Location: Gboro on Feb 10, 2010 at 10:30 AM
    Well John, after reading your comment and seeing how you view this whole thing, I too am starting to wonder whats going on in Duplin Co! Police "broke" in his house? Its called a search warrant there, cupcake.
  • by Nikki Location: G'ville on Feb 10, 2010 at 08:49 AM
    The problem is that Animal Control goes to these homes and fines the people. I think if the animals look that bad they shouldn't give the owners a chance, they should just take them (the animals) away!! Oh and if the owner looks alone and depressed or incompetent..take him and get him some help too!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 10, 2010 at 07:28 AM
    I think most anyone, especially those with a medical background, know about depression and what it entails. However, there is no excuse for what happened in Duplin Co. I'm sure this man had some family or friends who were aware of the situation. Was he not proactive at all? Were his family and/or friends not proactive? I am not ignorant for I know severe and manic depression firsthand. I also know there are always options and there is always help available. Again, there is not excuse.
  • by Marie Location: Greenville on Feb 10, 2010 at 05:22 AM
    Excellent explanation Carolillne. Depresssion can cause anyone to lose all hope. It's so sad this poor man didn't get help sooner.I'm also sorry about the animals. These folks posting the hateful comments only know one thing - IGNORANCE.
  • by Jennifer Location: Washington on Feb 9, 2010 at 06:35 PM
    Here lies the problem or some of it anyway. You call Animal Control and you expect that they will go out and do something about the animal that is being treated poorly, but no they don't. They wait until the poor animal or animals are about to die or in this case died!!!! What takes so long for them to do something??? I have called several times about animals and they do nothing!!!! Drives me crazy... If you can't do your job correctly, then GET ANOTHER ONE!!!
  • by John Location: Duplin on Feb 9, 2010 at 03:54 PM
    I an real sorry about the horses. If the authorities knew all about this a year ago why didn't they do something about it? I'm even more sorry about a man who was apparently very ill who killed himself when a bunch of police broke into his house. What is going on in Duplin County?
  • by DBE Location: Princeton, N. C. on Feb 9, 2010 at 03:42 PM
    I was an aquaintance of Clifton. Saw him on local trail rides. Always had some of the prettiest paint horses around (fat & healthy). Nice guy on first impression, loved horses for sure. Seemed to have it all together. Don't know what happened to him, but it must have been something serious for this tragedy to happen. Hope the truth comes out in his favor.
  • by Cat Location: Gboro on Feb 9, 2010 at 03:17 PM
    Excellent post, J.B. ! Aint it the truth!
  • by Mary Location: ENC on Feb 9, 2010 at 02:42 PM
    Say what you will, J.B., if I had known about these animals (which live an hour and a half from me), I would have been glad to haul each and every one to my house and paid for vet care and feed. Law enforcement are the only people who can initiate help for animals in that kind of state here in NC. J.B., you must not be an animal lover. Go unload your crap on some other unfortunate misfit in TX. It's not needed here in NC
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