A Florida couple is facing multiple animal cruelty charges in connection with the seizure of more than 50 horses in Union County last year.
In October 2018, deputies from the Union County Sheriff’s Office responded to a series of reports about allegedly maltreated horses residing on a 40-acre property near Lake Butler, Florida. Upon arrival, investigators discovered 51 horses in varying stages of alleged neglect residing in allegedly inadequate conditions. Investigators also found two other horses’ remains on the property.
Following their removal, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals staff transported the horses to an equine veterinary hospital for evaluation.
On Jan. 14, the horses’ owners Cheryl and Richard Ervin surrendered to the Union County Sheriff’s Office and were charged with 37 counts of misdemeanor and four felony counts of animal cruelty, said Sheriff Brad Whitehead in a written statement. Pablo Rivas, the owner of a horse that was kept on the Ervin property, also surrendered and was charged with one felony animal cruelty count for failing to address his animal’s medical conditions, he said.
Neither the Ervins nor Rivas were available for comment.
Meanwhile, the horses have been placed with rescue organizations in Florida and Kentucky for further rehabilitation.
The case remains pending