7 horses found dead, others malnourished
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SOUTH MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Authorities are searching for those responsible for abandoning horses in a remote area after seven were found dead and 11 in poor condition.
The South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were called to the scene along Southwest 205th Avenue, Sunday.
Upon arrival, SPCA found seven dead horses. According to officials, some of the horses had only died days ago. "One horse appears to have been dead probably just for five or six days," said Laurie Waggoner of SPCA. "It still has hair on it."
Eleven more horses were found alive on the scene, but extremely malnourished and some close to death. "It appears it's just kind of a dumping ground for unwanted animals," said Waggoner. "A lot of the horses, some of them are old, some of them are lame, they're all under weight."
All of the horses appear to have been abandoned. "They are below pond scum and we need to get rid of them," said Richard Couto of Animal Recovery Mission. "They need to be put in prison."
"Moon's Treasure", one of the horses found abandoned, had been on the race track as early as last July. "I hate seeing the animals like this," said Waggoner. "Personally, since I'm the one who picks the horses up and I do cruelty investigations, I have to look at it as what can I do to make the situation better?"
The former race track horse has been accepted into the Florida Track Program- a retirement farm for race horses where he will be nursed back to health. "He's very emaciated, you can see all of his bone structure, his spine, his ribs, you can actually see the shoulder blade here," said Waggoner. "You know, he's almost an anatomy specimen."
Officials also found a dog on the property with injuries so severe, it couldn't walk. Couto believes the dog was used as a bait dog in fights. "There's a large property that's adjoining to this property over here that has large animal fighting rings, which are illegal in Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida," he said. "This dog is a testament to that. Probably a fight that happened last night on Saturday night."
Miami-Dade Police have launched an investigation but finding the people responsible for abandoning the animal may be difficult because they are dropped off by people who simply don't want or cannot care for them. "It always strikes you in the heart, especially when you see dying animals that have been left to fend for themselves," said Couto.
Officials took the dog to Miami-Dade Animal Services to be treated.
The SPCA will nurse the additional abandoned horses back to health before they will be put up for adoption.
If you would like to help SPCA by funding their program, click on the website linked above.
If you have any information on the people behind the abandonment, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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