Florida Authorities Hunt for Horse Thieves Responsible for Killing Three Animals

Florida Authorities Hunt for Horse Thieves Responsible for Killing Three Animals

Among the horses was Paloma, a female that provided therapeutic rides to children with mental health issues and cognitive disabilities.

Law enforcement in southern Florida are actively seeking a group of horse thieves who stole and butchered three animals for consumption, among them a horse utilized in therapy sessions for children with autism and cognitive disabilities.

Authorities found the horses’ carcasses on Friday in a secluded part of Redland, near Homestead, after they were taken from the area. The discovery was made by officers from the agricultural and environmental crimes section of the Miami-Dade police department.

“They looked up and saw some vultures, and they said: ‘Let’s see where it leads us,’” detective Alvaro Zabaleta said at a news conference.

This occurrence adds to a series of comparable thefts in the area, raising concerns that a fresh criminal syndicate is focusing on stealing horses for their meat, which is subsequently marketed as a substitute for traditional beef or pork cuts, frequently commanding elevated prices.

Zabeleta cautioned that purchasing horsemeat from illicit sources poses health hazards due to the medications given to the animals for their well-being, such as potent doses of Ivermectin used for deworming.

“Just because it’s expensive doesn’t make it a delicacy,” he said.

CBS Miami recently reported that in the previous month, two horses were butchered in a nearby region of southwest Miami, and their dismembered remains were discovered.

In December, Alain Arencibia-Diaz, a resident of Hialeah, was apprehended in a covert operation after purportedly attempting to vend 40 pounds of horse meat, obtained from a horse he slaughtered, to an undercover law enforcement officer. His court appearance is scheduled for March.Recent incidents have diminished officials’ optimism that a surge in horse thefts, which intensified just before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, was decreasing.

“My deepest sympathies go to the bereft owners as they try to find answers to an incredible loss and some certainty that this will not happen again,” the mayor of Miami-Dade county, Daniella Levine Cava, said in a statement reported by the Miami Herald.

“This issue affects us all, from the agricultural community that is suffering these attacks on their private property, to other members of the community that could be putting their health at risk. My administration is ready to work with all stakeholders and the community to put an end to this problem.”

The trio of horses slaughtered most recently were housed together in the same stable. They consisted of a male, aged approximately six to eight years, named Bucefalo; a 20-year-old female named Miranda; and a female aged between 14 and 16 named Paloma.

According to David Yepez, the caretaker, Paloma, the horse, had provided therapeutic rides to children dealing with mental health challenges and cognitive disabilities, and her absence would be deeply felt.

“The therapeutic aspect of horses is something near and dear to me,” he said. “It’s sad. You build an attachment, and you see the impact this horse has, not just on one person.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *