SPANISH FORK CANYON, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Up to 75 horses are starving to death in Utah County because their owners don't have enough money to buy hay.
The animals belong to Rory and Trudy Childs. Officers arrested the two and charged them with animal cruelty.
The Smokey Mountain Ranch in the Spanish Fork Canyon area isn't really a ranch. It's more like a collection of horses that just exist, according to Utah County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
Trudy wanted to sell them, but the market for horses is bad and no one would buy. These factors set the stage for a horrible chain of events.
"They claim they don't have the funds to feed the horses...We don't want to sit by and wait and watch the horses starve and die. Somebody needs to step in and take care of these horses," said spokesman for the Humane Society, Carl Arky.
"We're encouraging the public to contact the Utah County Sheriff's Department and request that they do something about this," said Arky.
Utah law states it's illegal to stop feeding horses regardless of financial hardship.
The Utah County Sheriff's Department is feeding the horses temporarily to prevent any more horses from starving to death.
ABC 4's calls to Rory and Trudy Childs were not returned before this story was posted online.