Authorities in Alabama have arrested a veterinary student suspected of selling nearly 50 horses to meat-processing plants in Mexico.
Deputies with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office apprehended 24-year-old Fallon Blackwood at a local rodeo Saturday, four months after a grand jury returned a 13-count indictment charging the woman with bringing into the state property obtained by false pretense with the intent to defraud.
Blackwoofd, a senior majoring in veterinary medicine at Tuskegee University, is accused of offering owners to re-home older and ailing horses, and instead sold them to slaughterhouses in Mexico for meat.
The indictment lists 13 animals, but Lindsay Rosentrater, who turned over her beloved horse, Willie, to Blackwood in January 20018, said that nearly 50 missing horses have been linked to the veterinary student.
Blackwood was also arrested in early April on an outstanding warrant from North Carolina, where she was accused of tricking a man into giving her two horses, reported Fox 5 Atlanta.
According to multiple accounts posted on a Facebook page created by Rosentrater called Finding Willie, Blackwood would answer ads placed by people throughout the South seeking to sell their horses, saying that while she could not afford to buy the animals, she would be willing to house them on her 18-acre farm and care for them.
In many of the cases, including Rosentrater’s, Blackwood claimed she was looking for a retired horse to be a pasture companion for her racing horse.
The owners’ reasons for deciding to part with their geldings and mares varied, but most boiled down to financial difficulties, or failing health that prevented them from caring for their animals.