LELAND, NC (WWAY) -- A Leland couple is charged with failing to properly care for four horses they owned.
The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office arrested Edward Dean Oxendine and Rosemary Gettie Waldrone of Sandy Run Drive with four counts each of misdemeanor cruelty to animals.
Investigators say they've been working with the couple since January to improve conditions of the horses and the grounds where they lived.
First Sgt. Tommy Tolley says the horses were living in the front yard of the couple's home, where there were old cars and trash, but not much grass. Tolley says horses were eating the bark off trees, and investigators saw one horse trying to get into a household trash can.
Tolley says in September, Oxendine and Waldrone gave up ownership of one horse that was in the worst shape, but he says since then, conditions have not improved since to the necessary standards.
The Sheriff's Office seized four horses. Tolley said a vet examined the animals and scored them very low. The horses have been placed into foster homes around southeastern North Carolina, where they are living in pastures and eating well, Tolley said.
Oxendine and Waldrone are due back in court January 17.