CASTLETON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - Authorities in Barry County seized 24 animals as part of an animal abuse/neglect case.
The investigation into the case at a residence in Castleton Township started Aug. 22, according to the Barry County Sheriff's Department.
After completing the investigation, seven horses and 17 cats were rescued from the residence. The horses were moved to separate farms under veterinary care.
The owner of the animals, 64-year-old Marl Steinbach, was arrested Wednesday in connection to the case and arraigned on one count of felony animal cruelty.
Steinbach posted bond, which was set at 10% of $1,000, and was released. She is expected to face a judge within the next 10 days for a preliminary hearing.
Neighbors told 24 Hour News 8 they called authorities for weeks, some even for months, about the horses.
"They were really, really skinny. You could see ribs, their spine, their hips, their tailbone. It was like a skeleton with just the skin on," said neighbor Annie Meek.
She said the horses were normally covered in fly sheets to hide signs of starvation.
"People called and said, 'You need to take the fly sheets off so you can really see what's going on. Doing a drive-by isn't going to show you anything,'" said Meek, who was among those who called authorities.
Neighbors Claire and Ed Bomer told 24 Hour News 8 that Steinbach fed the horses regularly after getting them, but that they thought she simply ran out of money after awhile. They said they didn't think she had any income.
Steinbach has had 17 horses removed from her property in years past, 24 Hour News 8 was told.
She did not answer the door when 24 Hour News 8 went to her home for comment Thursday.
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