SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have arrested a man suspected of failing to responsibly care for the animals on his farm in Southwest Miami-Dade.
Fifty-two-year-old Dvir Derhy was arrested on Tuesday morning and is being held on $420,000 bond.
Miami-Dade animal services had seized over 250 animals on Jan. 3 from a two-acre farm in a large-scale operation nicknamed “Noah’s Ark” after the animals were found suffering in poor living conditions.
Alpacas, emus, horses and cows were among the animals rescued from the farm located near Southwest 264th Street and Roberts Road.
According to the arrest report, 19 animals had lost the use of one or more legs and were near death.
Investigators noted that “bones from decomposed animals were visible in various locations around the property” and that one animal “resorted to drinking the urine of another sheep in order to get water.”
Derhy now faces 20 felony counts of animal cruelty with intent to injure or kill, 42 counts of animal abandonment without food and shelter and two counts of confinement of an animal without food, water or exercise.
“The allegations are that he intentionally did not want to seek out veterinarian services that he knew were needed, that he was told were needed,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, “that he did not believe in veterinarian services for these animals.”
When rescue crews worked to remove the animals from the farm, some were not able to walk correctly or stand on their own.
“It was horrific. Had it not been for those neighbors really calling us out to those two acres located within 10 acres, we never would have been able to rescue these animals,” said Fernandez Rundle.
Earl Miller said he was hired by the property owner to feed the animals, and when he saw the conditions, he contacted authorities.
“I let them right in because what it seemed like to me was I was telling him what was going on wrong with the animals, and he didn’t like it,” said Miller. “He didn’t want to hear it. I couldn’t point out one thing specifically of what was the worst because it was hell.”
Miller said he had tried to tell Derhy the animals needed help.
“One of the things he said was that he only paid $150 per sheep. Why’s he gonna pay a vet $300 for a visit?” said Miller.
A llama is believed to have died of starvation while four other animals had to be euthanized.
Several animals were treated for infections, hoof rot, swollen limbs, puncture wounds and more.
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