Two chiseled bodybuilders are facing animal abuse charges after officials found three starving horses on their South Florida ranch.
The horses were found in “horribly emaciated conditions” and living inside filthy stalls, volunteers for the South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said. The stables were filled with trash and sharp debris, and the horses’ grain feeders were filled with feces, John Garcia, a volunteer, described. One horse could barely walk because its hooves hadn’t been trimmed in at least a year, said SFSPCA’s farrier, Scott Schrofronick.
A horse looked healthy in 2014, when a Facebook post showed the muscle-bound couple flexing with a sword and axe next to the grey mare. About a year later, the horse lost a lot of her weight and hair.
One of the bodybuilders, Milagros Cowan, told investigators there was nothing to worry about, and said the horses were “a little thin and just needed to be dewormed.” She was arraigned on Friday on four misdemeanor counts of animal abuse.
Her husband’s lawyer, Alexander Michaels, didn’t think it was a big deal either, the Miami Herald reported.
“I wish the police would spend more time on human victims and child victims, than on horses who skipped a meal,” he said.
Alex Paez, her husband, was charged with animal cruelty on May 27, when officials seized the horses off the couple’s Miami-Dades ranch. The bodybuilder had been charged for similar horse-abuse charges in 2011. Those charges were dropped after going through an intervention program for first-time offenders.
The horses are currently being taken care of by the SFSPCA, which has about 65 rescued horses.
“Seeing these horses every day at the barn is heartbreaking,” said Julie Shelton, the organization’s board member. “They are just traumatized.”
The horses have been eating and “gained a lot of weight,” according to the SFSPCA’s director of ranch operations Laurie Waggoner.
Bodybuilding Couple Hit With Animal Cruelty Charges For Starving Horses Found On Miami Ranch