‘It was a horrible, horrible death.’ – SPCA accuses farmer of abusing several horses

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GREENVILLE -

A farmer has been arrested and accused of starving and fatally shooting several horses in Orange County.

SPCA officials say the deaths occurred in the rural fields of Windy Acres Farm in Greenville.

Authorities say the owner of the animals, 62-year-old Peter DePaolo, failed to feed the horses or provide them with water or veterinary care until they were so weak that he shot them.

Officials say he shot the first in the field and let it lay where it went down. They say the other shooting took place in the barn.  When that animal was too weak to stand, investigators say DePaolo went back into his house, got his rifle and shot the horse in the shoulder.

Officials say the gruesome discovery was made earlier this month days after the horses were shot.

They say skeletal remains of a third horse were also found, as was a fourth horse that was alive but severely malnourished.

DePaolo was arrested on multiple animal cruelty charges, but is out free until his next court hearing.

Authorities say DePaolo faces up to six years behind bars and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted.

Authorities say the surviving horse they found has since been returned to its owner. Peter DePaolo is due in court for his arraignment next month.

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