11 horses found starving at ranch
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Eleven horses that were found malnourished at a South Florida ranch are now receiving the care they desperately need.
On Monday, police pressed animal cruelty charges against the horses' owner following the discovery.
Police reported to the scene after members of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals contacted them about their discovery of the horses on the property, located at 17850 Southwest 184th Street. "We were called by the Miami-Dade Agriculture Patrol to come pick up 11 malnourished horses," said SPCA representative Laurie Waggoner. "Apparently, they'd gotten a couple of complaints on them, that the horses had been deteriorating over the last couple of months," she continued.
According to police, the horses were found starving at the ranch off Southwest 184th Street and Krome Avenue. "Some of the horses, are, on a scale from 1 to 9, 9 being extremely obese [and] 1 being emaciated, all these horses are a 4 or below," Waggoner explained.
Authorities said they were able to make contact with someone on the property on Monday. The horses were turned over to SPCA officials. "Think before you get a horse," said Waggoner. "A horse is a 20 to 30-year commitment. It's a very expensive commitment and make sure that you're going to be able to afford it and stay with it for the long run."
MDPD has since opened a criminal investigation into this case, charging horse owner Elma James Burgess with 11 counts of animal cruelty.
The horses looked so malnourished, their protruding bones could be seen from high above by 7Skyforce HD, which hovered over the roundup of these horse at around noon Monday. According to investigators, some of them are former thoroughbreds. The SPCA also reported that the ranch had no food or water for these animals.
The Good Samaritans from the SPCA remained on they scene as they documented these horses' condition. They transported the animals from the ranch on a very large trailer after giving them some initial treatment at the scene. The horses are expected to make a full recovery.
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