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Animal-cruelty charges filed in death of horses

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Charges have been filed against two men in connection with last month's death of 18 Beaver County horses.

Beaver County Attorney Leo Kanell said he filed 18 animal cruelty charges — one for each horse — against Lupe Munoz and Rick Albright Tuesday in Milford Justice Court. The charges allege Munoz and Albright are responsible for the deaths of the horses due to recklessness or criminal negligence.

The charges allege Munoz and Albright "did recklessly or with criminal negligence fail to provide necessary food, care or shelter for (animals) in (their) custody."

On July 6, Beaver County sheriff's deputies found 13 dead mares, four dead foals and one dying yearling that eventually had to be euthanized by its owner. The animals were found in a pasture without water, and the sheriff's office said the animals appeared to have suffered from dehydration.

Munoz, the horses' owner, lives in Murray and said he left Albright in charge of the animals. But Albright, who lives in Beaver County near the pasture, said Munoz hadn't paid him for work he had done and he had told Munoz he wasn't going to care for the horses anymore.