Oklahoma County woman charged with starving horses

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HARRAH, Okla. - An Oklahoma County woman is arrested for allegedly starving two horses, one of them to death.

The suspect is charged with two counts of animal cruelty.

Sheriff's deputies first started looking into the case after being called to check the welfare of kids allegedly living in dirty conditions.

Instead, officers found one horse extremely malnourished and a second horse dead and buried.

"Obviously the house wasn't in the most pristine condition but when we checked the property, we found one horse extremely malnourished," Oklahoma County Sherriff's spokesman Mark Myers said. "There wasn't a whole lot of food."

Myers said deputies discovered one horse on the land that appeared feeble and under weight with bones visible through the skin.

Officers also claim to have found a burial site where a second horse had recently been buried after passing away.

"What our deputy determined was it died on a pile of its own feces," Myers said. "So even for the horses the conditions were pretty horrible."

That eventually led prosecutors to charge 50-year-old Billie Vandergriff with two counts of animal cruelty last month.

After Vandergriff failed to show up to court, a judge issued a warrant for her arrest.

This week a sheriff's deputy arrested Vandergriff in Harrah.

The suspects daughter says the family never meant to harm the horses.

She claims the charges are simply a misunderstanding.

The conditions of the home didn't warrant charges of child neglect but the DHS has been called in to investigate.