Deputies with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has seized several more horses from the same Eustis neighborhood where two other horses were removed in early July.
- 7 horses removed from Eustis property Friday
- Same neighborhood where 2 neglected horses were removed last week
The sheriff’s office is now looking into whether criminal charges could be filed for neglect of the animals.
One by one, officers with Lake County Animal Services loaded seven horses up and took them away from a property on Huff Road. Investigators say after animal services previously discovered the horses were not in good condition, they gave the owner specific instructions on what to do to properly care for them. When a county vet checked back, deputies say the owner had done nothing.
“We’ve been working with the owner with a plan to improve the horses' condition, very specific instructions,” said Sergeant Jim Vachon with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. “He apparently didn’t heed those instructions, so that’s why the county veterinarian went out today and assessed the situation, and determined the horses needed to be taken into protective custody.”
The property where the horses were seized is not far from another property on Huff Road where two other horses were removed last week. Deputies say a woman there told them someone put the horses on her property. Howey Horse Haven Rescue took those two horses in, but one of them died.
Deputies say they removed seven horses from the second property. The horses will be placed in foster care to get healthy.
“They’re not wild animals,” said Sergeant Vachon. “They’re domesticated to the point to where they have to be cared for, especially a large animal like that. It takes a lot of upkeep and if they’re not doing it, then somebody needs to step in and that ends up being the county and ultimately a fostering organization."
Vachon said no criminal charges have been filed, but there’s still an ongoing investigation into how the horses were treated.
“Nobody wants to see animals mistreated,” said Vachon. “They can’t take care of themselves, so it’s up to us to do it for them.”
Vachon says there’s no relation between the two different properties where horses were seized.