Dare County couple found guilty in animal cruelty case

Photo courtesy Outer Banks SPCA Director John Graves

DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — A couple in Wanchese have been found guilty of animal cruelty charges after their horses were found emaciated.

In January, officials removed nine horses from Jim Oesting and Carla Gallop’s property, after investigators determined the horses were being neglected. The investigation conducted by the Dare County Animal Services and the United States Equine Rescue League (USERL) found the animals were not being well cared for.

Both Oesting and Gallop were found guilty of the charges Tuesday and were sentenced to 45 days in jail suspended and two years of supervised probation.

The judge ordered the couple to surrender eight of their nine horses and pay restitution of $3,000 to the Outer Banks SPCA. According to an OBXSPCA spokesperson, the organization offered to waive the $3,000, if the couple would relinquish custody of the ninth horse.

Oesting and Gallop initially turned down the offer and appealed the judge’s verdict, but changed their minds Wednesday. They revoked their appeal and took the SPCA up on their offer, according to the OBXSPCA spokesperson.

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