Couple charged with animal neglect

SILVERTON, Ore. — A horse named Banjo has been put up for adoption, and two people have been charged in Marion County with animal neglect.

Authorities say two dogs, Rudy and Sammy, had to be euthanized after deputies began an investigation in December at a rural property near Silverton. Deputies say the dogs were aged and weak, and their muscles had deteriorated.

Deputies said they also learned a second horse on the property had died just before they began their investigation.

Banjo was turned over to United SPCA in Yamhill and is reported doing better after a month of rehabilitation. Metal staples and glass shards were removed from his hooves and mane.

Officers said the charges were filed Saturday against 43-year-old Carol Rae Epping and 40-year-old Heath Christopher Epping.

Carol Epping told deputies that she had separated from her husband and she felt the animals that once belonged to both of them now belonged to him.