A horrific scene greeted investigators Sunday at a remote property in Southwest Miami-Dade: 11 starving horses and one injured dog abandoned to die, living among the carcasses of at least seven dead horses and several layers of their own manure.
"There’s three or four inches of manure in there so the horses have been in there a long time," South Florida SPCA's Laurie Waggoner told NBCMiami. "A lot of the horses, some of them are old, some of them are lame, they’re all underweight, some are emaciated, some appear to be pregnant."
The property along Southwest 205th Avenue "appears it’s just kind of a dumping ground for unwanted animals," Waggoner said. WSVN reports a tip to the SPCA let investigators to the property, but according to NBCMiami it took them two days to find the remote strip of land, where the horses had taken shelter at an abandoned structure.
Thanks to a racing tattoo, one horse was identified as Moon's Treasure, who last ran at Calder Race Course in Miami Gardens in July but had to be taken from the course in a van -- usually a sign of injury. She was subsequently sold several times, reports WSVN.
"There's horse skeletons everywhere out there,"Waggoner told Local 10. "Some of the weeds have grown up through the rib cages."
The injured dog's wounds were so severe she could not walk and had to be carried off the property. Activist Richard Couto of Animal Recovery Mission said it appeared she had been used as a bait dog in a fighting ring.
"The animal abuse in this area is epic," Couto said. The dog, nicknamed Lola by Miami-Dade Animal Services, will be adopted out once she is healthy.
The starving horses were taken to the SPCA's rescue barn, where all but one are expected to survive.