HUDSON, Fla. (WFLA) — A 32-year-old woman was arrested and charged with animal cruelty of her seven horses after one of them got so skinny and weak it could not stand and eventually died.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Agricultural Unit arrested Nicole Marie Hutchins at 8046 Lazy Lane in Hudson, the location where the malnourished horses were kept.
Deputies said a passerby noticed the horses Oct. 24 and called the sheriff’s office about it. As normal procedure, the Pasco Agricultural Unit worked with Hutchins to get her to fix the situation. Unfortunately, deputies and fire rescue were called back out to the property Wednesday to assist with a horse so weak that it could not stand. The horse later died.
Deputies said Hutchins intentionally and willfully deprived her seven horses of the necessary food and care. As a result, the horses lost a lot of weight and two were so skinny and weak one of them could not get up for over 24 hours and eventually died.
Deputies took custody of the remaining six horses and will be petitioning the court for possession so they can be auctioned.
Hutchins is charged with one count of felony animal cruelty and six counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.