Animal cruelty investigation results in 6 arrests & seizure of 7 - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Animal cruelty investigation results in 6 arrests & seizure of 750 animals, sheriff's office says

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - An animal cruelty investigation resulted in six arrests Tuesday and the seizure of about 750 animals, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office.

Chopper 5 recorded police activity at property in the Loxahatchee area.

An organization called Animal Recovery Mission issued a news release stating that the activity is a raid on three animal slaughter farms and horse meat operations.

ARM staff members said the owners of three farms: Rancho Garcia, G-A Paso Fino and Medina Farm have been slaughtering horses to sell their meat.

ARM's president Richard Couto says the agency witnessed grisly acts of brutality against animals. "There are dead animals throughout the property. There's meat throughout the property. There are sick animals. Possibly diseased animals."

He says horses were being butchered for their meat.

“Horses were being bought from the show horse communities throughout Wellington, from thoroughbred racetracks, from auctions, from Craigslist," Couto said.

ARM describes itself as an investigative animal welfare organization and said it is working with the sheriff's office and Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.

The sheriff's office has confirmed it is assisting with the ARM investigations.

The animals seized include goats, pigs, cattle, numerous species of birds, dogs, cats and fighting roosters, the sheriff's office said.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is part of an Agricultural Task Force and says it took part in Tuesday’s investigation at the request of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Lee County said it is assisting with the transportation and recovery of multiple animals which were seized.

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