Sara L. Kelly, 50, of Eddyville, was ordered to secure new counsel within 30 days, after defense attorney, Bryant Law Center, made an oral motion to withdraw as counsel of record at Kelly’s pretrial conference last week on June 2 at Lyon County District Court. She is charged with 16 counts of second-degree cruelty to animals.

On March 11, Lyon County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Kelly’s property, 9 miles south of Eddyville, in response to a complaint about malnourished horses.

After arriving on the scene, no horses were found, authorities said. The next day, Deputy Sam Adams returned to the property to continue the investigation.

Upon arrival, Adams found three dead horses and 13 malnourished horses, at which point a local veterinarian was called to evaluate the condition of the horses — the veterinarian confirmed neglect based on extremely low body condition scores, authorities said.

Authorities said further investigation revealed Kelly abandoned the horses and two dogs. She left the residence and animals to be cared for by a young adult.

Deputies determined Kelly was gone for several weeks out of state, placing responsibility on the young adult, “with very minimal resources which were inadequate to properly care for the animals,” according to Lyon County Sheriff Brent White’s March 19 Activity Report.

The report indicated Kelly was aware of the condition of the animals and deaths, but neglected to request services in fear of legal reparations.

Deputies Adams, Keith Suits, Joe Witherspoon, in assistance with Lyon County and city personnel, and A&A Horse Haven personnel, rounded up the horses to prepare for transport to Haven’s facility in Boaz, Kentucky.

A dog was removed by Lyon County Animal Control Officer Stan Kinnis, the other dog was transferred to McCracken County.

Between March 12 and March 19, Kelly returned to her property, where Adams and White found her and arrested her at her home on KY 93 South on March 19 at 3:10 p.m., authorities said.

On March 24, Kelly was arraigned and on March 25, she posted bail for $1,500, according to court records.

Kelly’s next pretrial conference is scheduled for July 7 at 9:30 a.m., at Lyon County District Court.