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Owner of Lowell barn where 13 horses killed fears for her safety and future attack

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LOWELL, Mich. -- The owner of a farm in Lowell where 13 therapy horses died in a suspicious fire has filed a personal protection order against a man living in the area. Kat Welton, who owns the Barn for Equine Learning, says she fears an attack on her or her animals is imminent.

The 13 horses at the barn were killed three weeks ago while police say the barn was chained shut from the inside. No arrests have been made, but Welton says the actions of the individual named in the P.P.O. seem to be escalating.

Documents show the man named in the P.P.O. lives in the area. Welton says in the P.P.O. that tensions with him started in 2015 when the man allegedly brought a dead owl to her home and says it escalated from there. Now, Welton says she doesn't feel safe on the property.

The P.P.O. also states in June 2015, he admitted to cutting pasture fences and being in the barn at night after a horse was found tied to her stall with no water. Boot skid marks were also found on the outside of the stall. At that time, Welton says bestiality was brought into question and claims the horse had an injury to its eye.

Welton goes on to write the man's family dog was found dead in his bed and claims over the next few months, trail cameras disappeared from their property, water buckets were flipped over and a horse was let out.

Welton says the man allegedly pleaded guilty to breaking into another neighbor's home and stealing a gun and also possibly was peeking into their windows.

In February of this year, Welton says in the P.P.O. that a volunteer told her the barn doors were chained shut for the first. Then, just months later the doors were allegedly chained shut again and the barn burned down with 13 horses and a bunny inside.

Prior to that fire, Welton claims the man in the P.P.O. posted photos on social media showing a brunette woman surrounded by fire with the caption "What doesn't kill the girl makes her stronger."

Welton says the man's alleged actions have escalated and left her feeling unsafe and deeply concerned for her safety as well as the well-being of her family and animals. Welton says they've even gone as far as installing security cameras on the property and are worried that another incident is around the corner.

FOX 17 reached out to Welton for comment, but she said she was unable to speak about the case because it's an ongoing investigation.

No arrests have been made in connection to the barn fire and police would not confirm whether the man listed in the P.P.O. is the same person of interest they've questioned in the case.

Meanwhile, the barn is working to move on: just last week they received six new miniature horses. There has also been tens of thousands of dollars raised on a GoFundMe page to help them rebuild.


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