DAVIE, Fla. - Police have arrested the man they say is responsible for neglecting 21 neglected horses taken from a Davie Ranch on Jan. 11.
Benjamin Mantilla, 54, was arrested and charged with 21 counts of animal cruelty after the horses were removed from his property, located in the 1700 block of Southwest 139th Avenue, earlier this month.
The horses were malnourished, sick and found standing in more than a foot of their own waste and were skittish, hungry and suffering from ailments to their hoofs, according to Davie Police.
Mantilla has told local 10 that he didn't have any money and that's why conditions got so bad.
Sixteen of the horses were taken to the Peaceful Ridge Rescue in Davie, where Victor Cutino and volunteers are working around the clock to nurse them back to health.
Other horses were contained by a metal wire that had an electrical current running through it, which would prevent the horse from moving or drinking water, police said.
Samantha and Olivia Hudson saw the horses on the news and have become volunteers at the rescue ranch.
"Who could do this to these animals?" asks the wide-eyed 10-year-old student. The Hudson family is considered adopting a horse once they recover.
Anyone interested in adopting these horses or donating time or money to their recovery effort can find out more info at peacefulridgerescue.com.
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