LAKE BUTLER, Fla. — Three people were arrested Monday in connection to dozens of horses found neglected on a Lake Butler property, according to the Union County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said over 50 horses were found in "inadequate" conditions on the property of Cheryl Ervin and Richard Ervin back in October 2018. Both suspects face 37 misdemeanor counts and four felony counts of animal cruelty, deputies said.
A third suspect, Pablo Rivas has also been arrested and charged with one felony after deputies said Rivas' horse was kept on the property.
The horses were removed from the property on Oct. 28 and were placed with the following equine hospitals:
• RVR Horse Rescue (Riverview)
• Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation (Palm City)
• Horses without Human (Bell)
• Hidden Acres Rescue for Thoroughbreds (Cocoa); and
• Kentucky Humane Society (Louisville)
Union County Sheriff Brad Whitehead said in a statement:
“We would like to thank the ASPCA and the many law enforcement agencies involved in this complex investigation into animal cruelty in our county. We take all of these cases very seriously and animal cruelty will not be tolerated. We have worked very close to ASPCA and thank them for the expertise and evidence collection so we could proceed with charges and prosecution. We have stayed in close contact with the conditions of the horses and the amazing job they did in bringing each of them back to great health.”
Dates are pending for the suspects' first appearances in court.