Attorney: Horse caregiver not guilty of animal cruelty

- The attorney for the man charged with three felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty said his client is innocent.

A tip led officers to discover four dead horses on wooded property in Fulton County Tuesday.  Another five horses were found in poor health. 

Fulton County Police charged the horses' caregiver, Brandon Fulton, with three felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty.  

"One was tethered to a tree. It looked like he died as he was tethered to the tree," said Tim Poorman, director of field services for Fulton County Animal Services. "Another one looked like it was burned to be disposed of and the other one was just found dead."

In an interview with FOX 5, Fulton said he is passionate about horses and even uses them to teach children adding that he did not hurt any animals.

"I am just a person that loves horses, a person that enjoys riding them, training them, being in their presence," said Fulton.

When asked if the horses were his, Fulton said he did not know.

"When I arrived there I was put in handcuffs," said Fulton.  "They never stood me in front of not one horse, not one.  Never took me aside and said do you own this one, do you own this one.  All they said was put your hands behind your back, that's it."

Three of the surviving horses were described as "emaciated." The living horses were turned over to the care of local rescue groups.

"Anytime you seen an animal that's skin and bones, it's sad to see [be]cause you know it's preventable," said Poorman.

"I'm upset for him," said a man who came to check on his horse, Isabella.  "No one knows the story of why these horses are back here."

The man said he knew some of the horses on the property appeared to be in bad shape. He described Fulton, however, as "a good man" and said he did not believe Fulton should face charges for trying to help the horses.

Fulton appeared before a judge Wednesday morning where he was given a $75,000 bond and told he has to get rid of all of his animals. 

Fulton said he is eager for the truth to come out, but there are some things he cannot talk about just yet. 

"I can tell you unequivocally, that he has not done what he has been charged with," said Fulton's attorney Abena Abayomi-Rogers.  "He is absolutely innocent of what he has been charged with."

Fulton's attorney said her client's case seems to be more of a property issue.

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