Miami-Dade County Seeks Custody of Allegedly Abused Horse

A man was charged with animal cruelty in connection to riding the underweight horse from South Carolina to Florida.

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Authorities in Miami-Dade County, Florida, are seeking permanent custody of a horse belonging to a man accused of maltreating the animal during a 700-mile ride from Greenwood, South Carolina, to Miami-Dade, Florida.

Laurie Waggoner, director of ranch operations for the South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), said her organization received reports in November 2016 from passersby about a man riding a horse through Florida. Later that month, a passerby notified Miami-Dade police after spotting the horse and rider traveling southbound on highway US-1.

When police caught up with the pair, the horse appeared malnourished and had sores in his mouth. A subsequent veterinary examination revealed that the 20-year-old gelding was blind in one eye and had a body condition of 3 on the 9-point Henneke Scale. He was placed with the South Florida SPCA for rehabilitative care.

Police subsequently arrested Christopher Michael Emerson and charged him with animal cruelty. Emerson was later released on his own recognizance. His criminal case remains pending

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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