YULEE, Fla. — More than two dozen animals, including dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, an alpaca and a ring-tailed lemur, were rescued from a trailer they were all packed into Tuesday during a vehicle inspection in Nassau County.
The Department of Agriculture Services called Nassau County Animal Services Tuesday after a vehicle carrying the trailer full of animals stopped at the weigh station with expired plates, according to a Nassau County Animal Services Facebook post. Animal Services found eight dogs, seven cats, four horses, three miniature horses, one alpaca and one ring-tailed lemur.
The driver, Loren McCutcheon, was charged with cruelty to animals, as well as driving while license suspended or revoked, according to Nassau County court records. An arrest report from the Florida Department of Agriculture states an officer discovered some of the animals did not have any paperwork, so the officer conducted a traffic stop and discovered McCutcheon's license had been suspended for failure to appear.
Animal Services found two of the donkeys were lying under the horses in the trailer and could not stand, the report says. In one of the bays, two of the mini horses, the alpaca and one donkey were standing on wet hay covered in feces and urine, the report says.
In a second bay, two of the horses and two donkeys were standing on "an extensive amount of fecal matter and urine," according to the report, and Animal Services workers had to physically help the donkeys to their feet. The last donkey was being trampled on by two of the horses and had a large gash on its neck, the report says.
Two extra-large horses were in a third bay "in an excessive amount of fecal matter and urine," the report says. The living quarters of the trailer had three dogs and seven cats with no water, according to the report.
The report describes all 26 animals as "extremely dehydrated and stressed," with minimal air flow due to all of the windows and vents on the trailer being shut.
All of the animals were taken to Animal Services in Yulee, where they were checked by an agriculture inspector, veterinarian and Jacksonville Equine Veterinarians, according to the Facebook post. The animals will remain at the shelter to be cared for until the Department of Agriculture releases them from quarantine, the post says.