Breaking: ASPCA Assists in Rescuing 51 Horses in Equine Cruelty Case

October 29, 2018

an aspca responder with a horse

At the request of the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the ASPCA assisted with evidence collection and the removal of 51 horses suffering from various states of neglect on a 40-acre property near Lake Butler, Florida.

On October 25, investigators discovered horses living in inadequate conditions and exhibiting signs of neglect. Remains of deceased horses were also found on the property, as well as horses suffering from various medical issues that required immediate treatment.

a starved horse

“From the moment we stepped foot on the property, it was evident that immediate intervention was needed for these animals,” said Tim Rickey, Vice President of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team. “Our goal is to provide these animals with much-needed care and seek suitable placement options with our network of equine rescues as we continue to help local law enforcement with the case. This is truly a collaborative effort between law enforcement and animal welfare groups coming together to send a clear message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated in the community.”

two horses

The ASPCA transported the majority of the horses from the property to an equine hospital where ASPCA forensic and equine veterinarians are conducting exams and providing daily care until the horses can be responsibly placed with Florida-based equine rescues.

Charges are pending based on evidence collected by ASPCA experts in support of the investigation. Additionally, the ASPCA Legal Advocacy department is providing assistance to ensure the best legal outcome for these animals.

an aspca responder with a horse

The ASPCA is focused on ensuring horses nationwide have good welfare, which includes working to help at-risk horses safely transition to new careers and homes, increase safety net support for horse owners, and enhance anti-cruelty efforts. Additionally, the ASPCA supports humane legislation and advocacy to improve equine welfare, provides targeted grants, and rescues horses impacted by disasters and in cruelty cases. Read more about our efforts on behalf of at-risk equines.