The Robeson County Sheriff's Office seized 26 horses, 14 cows, one pig, and one bull from a home on Lonnie Farm Road in Pembroke this past weekend.
Deputies say someone doing utility work near the farm saw a horse down and called authorities.
They say when officers got to the home the horse was dead.
Officers say two others had to be put down because they were in bad shape.
They say several carcasses of animals were also found on the property.
Rencil Locklear is the uncle of the owner of the animals.
He says his nephew was out of town last week, but would never leave his animals without food or water.
"I know there's plenty of fresh water. I know there's fresh water and he said he had food. It might have run out the last day of food you know. But still there was out in the pastures where they could eat, eat pastures green food," said Rencil Locklear.
He says there are ponds surrounding the home with fresh water for the animals to drink.
Locklear says the horse that was found dead had health problems at birth.
"One horse, you know club foot was born that way, you know."
Deputies say pictures collected from the scene show the animals were deprived of necessary sustenance.
They say the animals have been placed in foster care pending the outcome of this investigation.
Our attempts to reach the owner of the animals were unsuccessful.
The Robeson County Sheriff's Office and the Robeson County District Attorney will decide what if any charges will be filed in this investigation.