Dead, malnourished horses discovered on Kanabec County property leads to charges

A Kanabec County woman is charged with seven counts of animal torture after multiple dead and malnourished horses were found on her property.

According to the recently filed charges, sheriff's deputies responded to a Kanabec County property owned by Stacey Nelson on April 13 after an allegation had been made she was mistreating animals. 

When deputies arrived at her property, they found five dead horses, seven living malnourished horses, chickens and a dog. 

One deputy noted the bark on the trees in a pen containing the carcass of one of the dead horses had been eaten up to about where the horse could have reached. The deputy theorized the horse had eaten the bark out of desperation. 

Kanabec deputies contacted the Humane Society to help with the investigation. The Humane Society investigator informed deputies she was familiar with Nelson, as she had worked an animal mistreatment case in Taylors Falls involving four of the dead horses found on the property, charges state.

It is believed Nelson left the Taylors Falls property from the previous investigation and brought horse carcasses with her to her Kanabec County property, the complaint says.

A few days after the initial call to the property, this time with a search warrant, investigators conducted a more thorough search of Nelson’s property, charges said. The investigators found seven living horses, all in a state of severe undernourishment, on the property which the deputies noted had insufficient water, food, and shelter for the animals. 

At that moment investigators seized the animals. 

After a veterinarian examined the seven horses one had to be euthanized to "end its suffering," the complaint said. Additionally, the veterinarian concluded the horses had been living in a "state of neglect for some time."

Nelson claimed she had been caring for the animals, but could not explain their condition, the complaint said.