Our network

Couple accused of animal cruelty, 18 horses seized | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Couple accused of animal cruelty, 18 horses seized
News


Lakeland, Florida -- A Lakeland couple have been arrested for severely neglecting more than a dozen horses on their property, the Polk County Sheriff's Office says.

28-year-old Jacob Caudy and 24-year-old Emily Cowper face numerous charges, including felony animal cruelty, and 45 counts of confining an animal without sufficient food and water.

The Sheriff's Office says the couple had been since 2011 to care for an 8-year-old thoroughbred named Dixie Boy by the horse's owner, who lives in California. Back in April, Dixie Boy was found severely underweight, and confined in a fenced compound with insufficient food and water. The suspects told deputies the animal had seen a vet a week before, but investigators were able to prove otherwise. The horse was turned over to the Sheriff's Office at that time.

Dixie Boy is now recovering at Hope Equine Rescue in Auburndale, where he has reportedly gained 91 pounds in the past four weeks.

During the ensuing investigation, deputies found several more horses that were not being properly cared for on the property, again without sufficient food or water.

ID=9915385

A total of 19 horses were seized, but one was so emaciated and dehydrated, it died on-scene while being cared for by a veterinarian. Caudy told deputies the horse was his, and it had been lying on the ground for at least a day.

Other animals were also removed from the home, including a dog, cats, snakes, iguanas and an African grey parrot. They were all taken to Polk County Animal Control.

Searching the suspects' home, deputies found a Hillsborough County Sheriff's badge. Caudy allegedly told deputies he stole the badge while visiting a friend, whose husband works at the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office.

Jacob Caudy was booked into the Polk County Jail for:

  • One count Petit Theft (M-1)
  • One count Felony Animal Cruelty (F-3)
  • 45 counts Confining Animal Without Sufficient Food & Water (M-1)

Emily Cowper was booked into the Polk County Jail for:

  • One count Perjury (M-1)
  • One count Grand Theft (F-3)
  • One count Felony Animal Cruelty (F-3)
  • 45 counts Confining Animal Without Sufficient Food & Water (M-1)


News

Polk County Deals

Polk County Businesses