Dozens of Dead Dogs and Horses on Woman’s Property Leads to Arrest

A Texas woman, aged 22, was apprehended last week following a shocking discovery at her ranch. Landscapers working on her property reportedly found numerous deceased animals, including 12 horses and 24 dogs. Rachel Ann Sword was charged with one count of cruelty to a non-livestock animal, a third-degree felony, and one count of cruelty to livestock animals — physical abuse, a state jail felony, according to records.

The Collin County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into Sword after receiving a complaint from the landscapers about the discovery of several dead horses. The complaint led to a follow-up inquiry by the Sheriff’s personnel, resulting in a seizure warrant being executed on August 1. The warrant authorized the retrieval of all living animals from Sword’s property located in the 700 block of Graybill Road in Westminster, approximately 50 miles northeast of Dallas.

During the execution of the warrant, investigators seized a variety of animals, including two dogs, two horses, one cow, one lizard, and one snake. These animals were handed over to Animal Services personnel for care and control. The investigators also discovered the remains of 12 horses and 24 dogs in advanced states of decomposition scattered around the property.

The property where the animals were found is reportedly owned by Sword’s elderly grandparents. The grandparents, who have difficulty moving around, believed that Sword was taking care of her animals at the ranch. However, investigators discovered a dead dog in a cage near the grandparents’ home, with no food or water nearby, leading to further suspicion.

Sword lived in an RV parked behind her grandparents’ house on the property. As the investigation continued, deputies found 23 more deceased dogs in various stages of decomposition. Some were locked in cages without food and water, while others were stuffed into sun-exposed pens. They also discovered a dozen dead horses on the property, with varying degrees of decay indicating that the deaths were not recent.

Sword reportedly told investigators that the animals belonged to her late husband, who had passed away about three weeks prior. She admitted that she knew she was responsible for the animals’ wellbeing after his death but claimed that her depression prevented her from caring for them. However, records showed that there had been at least 16 calls concerning reports of animal cruelty on the property since 2019.

One of the landscapers who reported the incident described the property as smelling like death, with cages, dead animals, and skeletons scattered everywhere. Sword was subsequently arrested and is currently being held at the Collin County Jail on an $85,000 bond.

The Collin County Sheriff’s Office reiterated its commitment to ensuring the safety and welfare of all animals in the county, stating that it has a zero-tolerance policy regarding animal abandonment or cruelty.