Local woman charged with animal cruelty
A High Point woman has been charged with animal cruelty according to the Randolph County Health Department.
Mimi Cooper, public health director, confirmed that Donna Burkhart, of 1205 Blain St. in High Point, has been charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. She also faces a felony cruelty to animals charge from March.
Cooper said Burkhart housed her animals on Kimery Lane in Liberty and the animals were in poor conditions without food and water.
“We started getting calls about these horses years ago,” Cooper said. “When we would go, the horses looked fine. When we would contact Burkhart she would tell us that she fed and watered her horses.”
Cooper said in March that all changed.
“One of our officers was there checking out a complaint and we found two donkeys in horrendous condition,” Cooper said.
One donkey had a halter that apparently was put on when he was young and had never been taken off. According to Cooper, he was not socialized and could not be touched by humans.
The other donkey had not had his feet trimmed in at least a year, according to Cooper.
“It’s very painful to have to walk on and it’s like walking on your fingernails,” she said.
According to Cooper, Burkhart surrendered both of the donkeys to the health department, a vet was called out, and the team sedated the donkey with the embedded collar.
“He was so stressed and in such poor condition that he died while we were giving him sedation,” Cooper said. “The other one we brought back to the shelter, had his feet fixed and found him an adoptive home.”
Cooper said that they continued to monitor the other horses that Burkhart had on the property. They received a call one day that the horses were without food and water.
After leaving a note and trying to call Burkhart, Cooper said she went to the Randolph County District Attorney and the Magistrate’s Office to get a warrant to seize the seven remaining horses on the property.
“Three of the horses are in very poor condition and the other three are in okay condition,” Cooper said.
She said that she does not know when Burkhart will go to court on the charges. Burkhart could not be reached for comment Thursday.
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