83ºF

Miami-Dade man accused of neglecting over 200 farm animals

Goats, sheep and more were left to starve, police say

photo

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A North Miami Beach man was arrested Tuesday after police said he kept more than 200 farm animals on his property in squalid, cramped conditions. Authorities said many of the animals did not have proper access to food and clean water and lacked much-needed medical care.

Dvir Derhy, 50, faces multiple charges of animal cruelty.

According to the arrest report, Derhy had hired a man to care for the animals in exchange for allowing the man to stay in a camper on a  property in the 26700 block of Southwest 182nd Avenue in southwest Miami-Dade County. However, the tenant contacted authorities after he said Derhy ignored his concerns about how the animals were being treated.

When officers arrived on the property in late December, they found hundreds of animals -- including goats, sheep, horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, emus, llamas, alpacas, turkeys, geese, ducks, chickens and guinea fowl – all living in the same penned-in area, the report  said.

The ground was covered in urine, feces and sharp rocks without any comfortable places for the animals to sleep, the report said. Police said Derhy kept the animals’ food in a trailer that was inaccessible to the smaller animals. As result, the larger animals became of obese and the smaller, weaker animals were severely malnourished, the report said. 

The animals had not been groomed so they maintained heavy coats despite the South Florida heat. 

Many of the animals had untreated medical conditions that affected their vision and ability to walk. Derhy told the officers he didn’t take the animals to a veterinarian because he didn’t have the money and it was cheaper to buy another animal, the report said.

photo

Police were assisted by the South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Miami-Dade County Animal Service Department as they moved the animals off the property.

Out of the 206 animals seized by the authorities, four had to be euthanized and 60 required immediate medical care. One llama was so underfed that it died of starvation a few days after the animal was taken by animal control officials. Many of the animals were still recovering three months after they were seized, the report said.

Officials with the SFSPCA said all the animals were being cared for by their organization, but the influx of animals has put a strain on their finances. After the rescue -- dubbed Operation Noah's Arc -- the population of SFSPCA Homestead ranch grew by 400%. Many of the animals were pregnant when they were taken and have since given birth, adding to the numbers.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Derhy was being held on more than $400,000 bond at Miami-Dade County’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.