MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Animal welfare officials rescued two horses from a Miami Gardens property after they were found in an emaciated state, Tuesday.
The South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) raided the property just off Red Road after receiving a tip to find the horses in the area.
“You know, I’ll never understand it, but I go into this looking, what’s the best situation for the horse? How do I make it better?” said Laurie Waggoner with the South Florida SPCA. “In this instance, removing the horses from this property, in my opinion, is the best way to make things better for them.”
Their bones were clearly visible and their hair falling out.
Officials said the owner of one of the horses died, leaving the animal without any caretaker.
The SPCA said the other horse simply wasn’t being taken care of by her owner, Carlton Williams.
However, Williams claimed he’s been feeding the horse every day for several weeks after he learned the caretaker he was paying for stopped showing up.
Police took him into custody on Tuesday. Williams has been booked into jail and is being held on a $1,000 bond.
“I’ve been taking care of the horse myself,” said Williams as he spoke with 7News from the back of a police cruiser. “The last month and a half now, I’ve been coming every day. Every day I come and feed. Every single day.”
But Waggoner suggested the horse was otherwise not being taken care of properly.
“The fact that the horse is completely emaciated, horses that get fed every day just don’t look like that,” said Waggoner. “People who see a horse that looks like this, they should know this is animal abuse.”
It never gets easier for Waggoner, coming to run-down lots like this one and finding horses struggling to stay alive.
“It can be touch and go with every one of them. We’ll see what the veterinarian says,” said Waggoner.
The property the SPCA found the horses is one of several along Red Road near Miami Opa-locka Executive Airport.
In fact, the SPCA said they were in the same area last October to remove three other horses.
“Code enforcement should be out here. They should be doing something,” said Waggoner.
The two rescued horses are now at an SPCA ranch in Southwest Miami-Dade, where they will receive the attention and care they so desperately need.
The plan is to rehabilitate the horses, which can take up to 90 to 120 days, before finding new owners who can offer the animals a better life.
“That’s removing them from their situation and take them home and have them examined by a vet and start trying to make them better,” said Waggoner.
The SPCA said that people should call local authorities immediately should an animal be found in any type of distress or harm, even if you think the owner might be nearby, as every second counts.
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