Horse Owner Charged With Cruelty; Animal Since Returned

A horse owner has been charged with hitting his horse after riding it into town last month. That horse has since been returned to the owner.

Beaufort County deputies have charged Scott Southerland of Pinetown with misdemeanor cruelty to animals. They say on April 27th deputies received a report of a horse being abused in the parking lot of a business in Bath. Witnesses told deputies that Southerland struck the horse multiple times with a fishing rod and that it received some injuries.

The 49-year-old was arrested Monday and his bond was set at $5,000.

Major Kenneth Watson says the horse was initially seized as evidence and was examined by a veterinarian. It was given a clean bill of health and is recovering from minor injuries, according to Watson. He says the court ordered the horse to be returned to Southerland.

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