Man Charged With Animal Cruelty in Davie Horse Neglect Case

The owner of 21 horses found malnourished and living in deplorable conditions at a ranch in Davie was arrested on animal cruelty charges, authorities said

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014  |  Updated 11:39 AM EDT
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Twenty-one horses are on the mend after they were rescued from a Davie ranch where they were living in filthy conditions over the weekend, police said. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos reports.

Twenty-one horses are on the mend after they were rescued from a Davie ranch where they were living in filthy conditions over the weekend, police said. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos reports.

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The owner of 21 horses found malnourished and living in deplorable conditions at a ranch in Davie was arrested on animal cruelty charges, authorities said.

Benjamin Mantilla, 54, was arrested Tuesday on five counts of cruelty to animals, according to a Davie Police arrest affidavit released Wednesday. He was booked into jail and later released, and it was unknown whether he has an attorney.

The horses were found back on Jan. 11 on the property at 1708 Southwest 142nd Avenue after police received a complaint about a horse being neglected, the report said.

When officers arrived, they discovered several horses that were poorly maintained and underfed, with rib cages protruding from their bodies and damaged hooves, the report said.
 
The horses' stall were covered in manure, their watering holes weren't filled and their water buckets hadn't been cleaned, the report said. There was also a hot wire that was running through the stalls and near the watering hole that was being used to shock them and keep them from moving, the report said.

The floors of the stalls appeared to have not been cleaned in months, with puddles of manure and urine that was ankle deep, the report said.

"The conditions of the stalls were harmful to the horse's health and their body conditions could be from malnourishment and improper care," the report said.

Mantilla told officers he was unable to properly care for the horses due to financial problems and agreed that their conditions were unacceptable, the report said.

He said he hadn't contacted animal rescue because he was in a "dark place," the report said.

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