Animals’ Angels investigators attended the small horse auction in Catlettsburg, which is operated by horse trader Josh McKay from Sweetland, WV.
McKay used to frequent New Holland and Sugarcreek Auction and haul slaughter horses to kill buyer Bruce Rotz.
The “auction building” is not more than a dilapidated, dark pen area covered with a roof. There are no fans to cool the air and no water troughs.
It was a hot and humid evening and the sale appeared to be slow. Auction visitors were sitting along the front of the building on the loading ramps and were watching people “testing” horses before the sale.
There were approx. 25 horses in the pen area, among them a mare and her foal. The larger pens in the brightest area of the pen area held 6 horses each, all tied individually. Some horses were quite thin. No injuries were observed and handling was satisfactory.
While investigators were walking the pen area, they were spotted by McKay who confronted them immediately. He appeared to be very upset and nervous and told them that “things were different” down there and that “trouble would not be tolerated."
The strong reaction to AA’s presence raises questions. Animals’ Angels will continue to monitor the premises.