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Repeat Animal Abuser Behind Bars Again; His 3 Horses Now Safe--Mikayla Lewis

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GALLATIN, Tennessee--Hanging a horse from a tree seems far from decent, but Timothy Decent did just that. The 62-year-old hung the dead foal from his Montgomery County property reportedly with intent to skin it. Investigators found a neglected mare on his land and arrested him Thursday for animal cruelty. Tonight, Decent is sitting behind bars again as a repeat offender.

Decent bailed out on his $10,000 bond from Thursday. That charge is now categorized as a felony, because of a former animal cruelty charge in Michigan. Today, Clarksville Police along with several other agencies obtained an arrest warrant once again for Decent for the Aggravated Animal Cruelty charge. He made bond and was released shortly after. Three horses and several chickens were taken from Decent's property today. The horses were brought to Sumner County by the Volunteer Equine Advocates.

Earlier today, it was the first meal that mare, Keno could count on getting on regular basis. It's unknown how long the horse went without food or water, while living on Timothy Decent's property.

"There is nothing decent about this fella," said VEA executive director, Jamie Clifton.

After a Clarksville Police officer noticed a foal hanging by its legs on a tree on Decent's land. the investigation led to finding Keno (presumed to be the foal's mother) neglected and in poor health. The VEA took Keno, and two other horses from the land and to one of their farm facilities for rehabilitation today.

Clifton said, "It's extremely rewarding to get these animals and to know that we can get them back into good homes."

The VEA determined each horses body condition based on physical appearance. The mustang and stallion are both in acceptable condition (rated between 3.5-5.0), but Keno is by far the worst at 1.5 with visibly bare bones, lack of muscle and body fat.

Dr. Jim Cole, one of VEA's founders said, "You never get over the shock and the anger and the disbelief that people can do such horrible things."

Dr. Cole helped found the non-profit group 12 years ago. He says because of the equine industry and law, horses are considered livestock. Animals like cats and dogs are considered companion animals, with the equine category it makes hard to prosecute abusers like Decent. The help and cooperation of law enforcement and district attorney's crucial, but Cole says it is rare.

"We'd love to see the law change. We've spoken to many legislators, but there is a great resistance, " explained Dr. Cole.

"Animal cruelty leads to child abuse... domestic violence, its just a stepping stone," added Clifton.

The VEA is examining the horses further, and collecting evidence for trial. Timothy Decent is set to be back in Montgomery County court on March 20th. For more information on donating, helping, or volunteering for Volunteer Equine Advocates non-profit group, click here!

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