ORANGEBURG COUNTY (WACH) - An Orangeburg County man has been arrested after deputies say he mistreated at least seven horses in his possession.
An incident report issued by the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Department said a neighbor of 77-year-old Matthew Stroman complained to deputies about the smell of rotting flesh coming from a pasture on Stroman's land. When a deputy responded, he noticed two decomposing horses, one horse was a mare that appeared to be giving birth to a foal in a field. The deputy asked Stroman if he knew about the horses. Stroman said he knew about them, and he had tried to bury them by hand, but he was unable to finish digging the hole, so he was going to let the buzzards eat the animals' flesh and bury the bones.
The deputy then saw five other horses on the property that appeared malnourished and in need of medical assistance. Animal Control was called to the scene. An officer with Animal Control said the remaining horses looked to have been mistreated and needed to be removed from the property.
Upon further inspection, deputies and animal control found the only drinking water the horses had was contained in a few 55 gallon plastic drums with mosquito larvae in them. The animals had no shelter and the ground around them was mostly mud. The only food left for the horses was several bales of hay the reporting officer describes as "wet and old."
The horses were taken into custody. They are described as a black and white stallion, a brown mare and a black and a white colt.
Stroman was arrested and faces several animal cruelty charges.