ZAP, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota man accused of feeding moldy hay and denying water to numerous horses that wound up dead or sick has been charged with felony animal cruelty.

Mercer County deputies found 15 dead horses and 11 dead foals and fetuses over the weekend on the property of Shanan Weigum, of Zap, located about 60 miles (96.5 kilometers) northwest of Bismarck. They also found a donkey and 39 horses in poor condition, as well as four dead lambs.

A young steer and two of the sick horses had to be euthanized, and two others were transported for treatment of infections, officials said.

Four cows, a bull, a goat and 26 sheep in another corral were in good condition and had adequate food and water. Weigum owned those animals, but he was being paid by an out-of-state owner to care for the horses, authorities said.

All of the animals were seized by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

Weigum did not immediately return a phone message left Monday by The Associated Press. Court documents do not list an attorney for him.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, Bismarck Tribune.

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