Twenty-one horses are on the mend after they were rescued from a South Florida ranch where they were living in filthy conditions over the weekend, police said.
"The conditions that these horses were in were deplorable,” Davie Police spokesman Capt. Dale Engle said. “Some of the stalls had over a foot of manure and urine. There was no food or water.”
A phone call made by a concerned neighbor led to the discovery at the ranch at 1791 Southwest 139th Ave in Davie. Police said their investigation is only getting started.
"We want to do our due diligence to ensure that this person is held accountable for the actions that he's taken,” Engle said of the owner.
Police said they will work with a veterinarian to determine what charges they may file.
Sixteen of the horses are at their new home, the Peaceful Ridge Rescue ranch in Davie. The rest are being cared for at the Pompano racetrack.
In Davie, the animals have been given multiple baths to remove feces that was caked on their coats.
Victor Cutino, the owner of the Peaceful Ridge facility, helped rescue the horses Saturday night. He said the mares and stallions were skittish when humans approached.
But as he stood with one horse on Monday, Cutino said the stallion was “feeling good, feeling refreshed.”
“He’s loving people now,” Cutino said, adding, “Getting very, very comfortable.”
But the horses face a lengthy recovery process. Some of the malnourished horses must relearn how to eat hay and grain.
The ranch is relying on the kindness of people in the community to continue the effort.
"It’s been overwhelming. We've had people show up to our ranch here, bringing hay, bringing food,” Cutino said. “It’s stuff that we really, really desperately need.”