Investigators and activists rescued several animals near the brink of death Sunday on a remote property in Southwest Miami-Dade, including nearly a dozen horses and at least one dog.
The property on Southwest 205th Avenue between 152nd Street and 136th Street where investigators found all these animals is so off the beaten path, it took them two days to find it and the horrific scene inside.
The South Florida SPCA and the Animal Recovery Mission found 11 horses alive but emaciated, seven dead and one dog near death. Investigators say someone used her for illegal dog fighting then dumped her on the property to die.
Authorities were tipped off by an alert citizen. The animals found alive lived among the carcasses of dozens of others.
"It appears it’s just kind of a dumping ground for unwanted animals," said Laurie Waggoner, with the SPCA.
Waggoner said there's an abandoned house on the property with no doors where the horses had taken shelter under horrible conditions.
"There’s three or four inches of manure in there so the horses have been in there a long time," Waggoner said. "A lot of the horses, some of them are old, some of them are lame, they’re all underweight, some are emaciated, some appear to be pregnant."
Animal Recovery Mission investigator Richard Cuoto said the dog was covered in puncture wounds from bites from other dogs likely from a recent fight and as they carried her out, she was still and scared.
"That’s probably what this dog was or it was an actual fight for money last night. The wounds are semi-fresh on her," Cuoto said. "Animal cruelty in this area is epic, there’s probably more animal cruelty in this area than there is anywhere else in the United States. These people are low-lives, people that pay money and bet on innocent animals to fight each other, you can’t get much lower than that. And we need to get rid of them, they need to be put in prison."
The dog was taken to Miami-Dade Animal Services and once she's healthy again she'll be up for adoption.
Cuoto said of the 11 living horses, one likely will not make it. But they are all now at the SPCA's rescue barn for rehabilitation. Once they're better they will also be up for adoption.
One of the horses was identified as Moon's Treasure, a race horse that had been competing just last summer.
"They really can't get any skinnier than this. He would have been dead in a matter of days," Waggoner said of Moon's Treasure. "In his golden years, when he should've been loved and cherished, he is dumped in a field and left to starve to death."