HIALEAH GARDENS, Fla. – The decaying remains of three slaughtered horses were found Wednesday afternoon in Hialeah Gardens, South Florida SPCA officials said in a news release.
The remains were found at 17801 NW 136th Ave.
Laurie Waggoner, South Florida SPCA director of rescue operations, believes that the horses were slaughtered for their meat, based on the condition of the carcasses.
SPCA officials said one horse appears to be a Thoroughbred. Its upper lip was cut out where there would have been an identifying tattoo.
"There are people who believe that the meat has a medicinal purpose," Waggoner said.
Officials said the sex of the horses cannot be determined because of the condition of the remains.
One horse is bay in coloring with no white facial markings. Another was palomino.
"The demand for horse meat in South Florida is pretty high," Waggoner said.
SPCA officials believe that the horses were butchered at the location where the remains were found.
"This is tragically common in South Florida," SFSPCA president Kathleen Monahan said in a statement. "As an organization dedicated to the health, welfare and safety of horses, we will continue to do everything we can to educate the public and work with law enforcement to put an end to this hideous practice."
SFSPCA officials said horse meat is toxic for humans and other animals because of the vaccinations and medications domesticated horses are regularly given.
Officials urge horse owners to be extra vigilant when it comes to keeping their animals safe.
Anyone with information about the killings is asked to call Miami-Dade police's Agricultural Unit at 786-218-8344, or Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.