Local News

Deputies find 13 dead horses in Duplin County

Posted February 7, 2010

— Thirteen dead horses were found Sunday morning at a mobile home at 513 Tram Road, near Mount Olive.

Duplin County sheriff’s deputies were called out to the residence at about 11 a.m. after the emaciated horses were discovered by concerned citizens.

Deputies tried to issue a search warrant but Clifton Jacobs, who was renting the home, refused to come outside.

Jacobs, 43, shot and killed himself inside the home just after 5 p.m. Sunday, Duplin County Sheriff Blake Wallace said.

The horses belonged to Jacobs, according to Wallace.

It was not yet known when or how the horses died.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • jjs1nana Feb 11, 2010

    well he is not the only one to blame, the law went a year ago, the property owner said she and alot of others had called several times in the past so more than just him didnt care enough to take them a year ago or when all the people reported it including land owner, i bet if someone would have called one of those animal rescue shows a year ago those horses and dogs would still be alive, they would have done the job unlike whoever was called and did nothing, so not only was cliff to blame but also law enforcement and animal control who responded year ago and friday. but to all the people who tried to help by reporting at least you tried to help, unlike authority personal who was to late to help, they not only failed the animals, but also cliff because if they would have done their job year ago horses wouldnt b dead and maybe cliff wouldnt have took his life over guilt, grief, and the news of cancer that there was no hope of getting better

  • chowchowmom Feb 9, 2010

    Sorry but I am most certainly more upset over the animals than the man. At least he went quickly, they starved and lacked water. A much slower and very painful way to go. The Sheriff's office obviously did a poor investigation. Someone needs to lose their job over this... there are plenty of able bodied unemployed people more than willing to handle his job properly.

  • samiam1244 Feb 9, 2010

    This Is a sad story. the poor animales. I have called the Humane Society on my neighbor that had left their poor dog out in the rain without any shelter ,only to get arguments out of the man that came to tell me the people did take care of the dog.. well i told him he didn't live here and i wasen't blind!!.teed me off. oh it was raining real hard that day ,guess the man didn't want to get out in it himself..

  • amyrn Feb 8, 2010

    I also saw this on another news site:
    "The first call came in the summer of 2009, Animal Control reported minor violations, but deemed the horses—-fit to remain in the care of Clifton Jacobs.
    The second call came in Friday, but Sheriff Blake Wallace says the horses appeared to be healthy, “Legally we had no standing to enter that residence or even do an exhaustive search of the property without the search warrant,” Wallace said."
    I have had horses in the past and I have never ever seen one become emaciated in a couple of days. I hope someone looks to see which deputy was assigned to look at these horses.

  • cocker_mom Feb 8, 2010

    The more that comes out, the more sickening it is. He may have been diagnosed with cancer on Friday - but the starvation of the horses started WELL before that. There was food there - he failed to give it to them - that's beyond sickening.

    The SO was there and said things looked "fine" on Friday. Are you serious?

    This man was obviously disturbed - and I guess it's sad he took his own life - but the neglect and abuse he put these animals through makes me very unsympathetic to his suicide and cancer diagnosis.

  • amyrn Feb 8, 2010

    This is an absolutely pitiful story for everyone and every animal concerned. I read on another website there was someone trying to help him but apparently that person wasn't successful. I am an animal lover and am horrified what happened to these animals. It looks like something you would see on one of those animal planet shows about rescues. However, this man was obviously very depressed or he would not have killed himself. I feel very badly for the deputies that saw that happen and I feel badly for the people who had to see those animals, the dead ones and the living ones. We need to check on our neighbors. That is what is wrong with this society. We all just go our own merry way and think someone else will look after it or it's someone else's problem. It isn't. It's ours. As good citizens and just good people, we have to help. People are starving and people are homeless and need help, not just in Haiti, but here at home.

  • rescuefan Feb 8, 2010

    The sheriff's department was just out there on Friday and supposedly didn't see anything amiss. Baloney! I hope someone gets disciplined for this one!

    By the way, I am not one of the cop bashers, but in this case, they dropped the ball. How could 13 horses die in 2 days, after they looked fine and dandy when the deputy checked on them? Especially when they were severely emaciated.

  • Weetie Feb 8, 2010

    OK...Now that I saw this on the news at 5:00 I guess I do understand it more. And cancer or no cancer, like some of the others said here, It didn't happen overnight. He DID have a chance to give them away - call animal control to take them or even turning them loose is better than what they got. I have NO SYMPATHY for him... Too bad, he got an easy way out!

  • Tbell67 Feb 8, 2010

    OK I usually just read these and move on...sometimes I post a little something BUT the comments on this story have really bothered me...YES the man committed suicide BUTTTTT how can some of you worry so much about this man who committed suicide?? We do not know why he committed suicide but he at least had that option. He was able to pick his destiny...the horses, on the other hand, had no opportunity to pick whether they could live or die. I value life to its fullest but I also love animals and for them to get mistreated in any way is wrong. I hate that this man died especially in the manner he did. Im sure it will be hard on his family but my heart mainly goes out to the pain and suffering that these horses endured. None of us our perfect but we have a choice and the choice you make is one you will either live with or die for...

  • genie2u Feb 8, 2010

    If he was mistreating them and not feeding them then he did what he should have so my tax dollars didn't have to pay to keep him up in jail