A Maryland farm owner says winter weather was to blame for the dozens of dead and starving horses found on her property last year.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports 75-year-old Barbara Pilchard testified Wednesday in her trial on charges of animal cruelty, neglect and abuse. Pilchard was indicted on the charges last summer after authorities responding to a report of horse corpses at the 2-acre (0.8-hectare) farm saw the severity of the situation.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis said the living horses were so starved they broke into the home in an attempt to find food. But Pilchard says the horses always had food and were fine until authorities "terrorized" them.

Closing arguments have been postponed so the defense could get a transcript of the trial.


Information from: The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., http://www.delmarvanow.com/