PD: Southwest Ranches man faces 29 charges over dead horses, starving pigs, goats

Arnold Musgrove, 39, claimed he was being racially ‘targeted’ by neighbors, police say

Arnold OKeith Musgrove and the Southwest 52nd Court property, seen here from Google Street View in 2019. (BSO/Copyright 2023 Google)

SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla. – A 39-year-old man faced more than two dozen criminal charges after Davie police arrested him in an animal neglect and cruelty investigation involving dead and uncared for farm animals on his property in Southwest Ranches.

According to a report from the Davie Police Department, an officer first made a report at a property owned by Arnold Musgrove, 39, on Jan. 7, documenting three horses -- a 16-year-old Belgian Draft horse named “Stormy,” a 25-year-old Portofino horse named “Cappricio,” and a 21-year-old Portofino horse named “Nala.”

By March 10, police said Stormy, Cappricio and Nala would all be dead. By Wednesday, Musgrove would be in jail.

In her report, Davie police Officer Christi Laguna said she responded to Musgrove’s property, located at 17781 SW 52nd Court, on Feb. 27 in an attempt to investigate reports of animal cruelty and neglect, but he wouldn’t let officers on the property.

He told them that they were “interrupting his workout and would need to make an appointment,” Laguna wrote.

While Musgrove may have been concerned with his own physique, the same couldn’t be said for his horses, according to authorities.

The report states that on Feb. 27, a witness sent police photos showing a horse on the ground covered with a tarp with its back legs kicking. Musgrove refused a veterinarian, it said.

An animal services officer came out the next day, but Musgrove wouldn’t allow her on the property without his legal representatives present, police said.

Laguna said she came back to the property on March 6 and saw a horse, later believed to be Nala, from the roadway and took a picture of it.

The horse was in “poor condition” and underweight, she wrote.

Laguna then called Musgrove on the phone to ask if he met with the animal services officer and told Laguna that he felt it wasn’t in his best interest to speak to police without an attorney, the report states.

She said Musgrove mentioned “several times” that he felt “targeted” because he was the “new Black man in the neighborhood,” making numerous references to the investigation being a “racial issue.”

But police told him that their investigation was strictly about animal welfare.

Laguna stopped by the property once again, on March 7, and said she saw a horse believed to be Stormy “trying to eat out of a small square bucket that was half flipped over.”

“From what I could observe, the quality of the hay was poor,” she wrote. “The horse was very thin, its ribs were prominent, tailhead prominent, hook bones and pin bones were also prominent.”

Police obtained a search warrant on March 9.

Laguna wrote that she found a property littered with dangerous debris, like broken metal and plastics, along with a black SUV on jacks, all of which “could be easily accessed by the roaming horse(s).”

Laguna said she entered a garage converted into a barn containing one stall and a feed storage room.

But, according to police, what she found inside wasn’t fit to feed anything.

“The feed consisted of bags of cracked corn and pellets, there was only a few flakes of hay, which appeared to be very dry and dusty; poor quality coastal hay,” Laguna wrote.

A veterinarian found it had “no nutritional value,” her report states.

Laguna said she then found Nala, emaciated and breathing heavily, with poorly-cared for teeth, untrimmed hooves and corneal ulcers on both eyes.

She had no food or water nearby, police said.

A veterinarian said Nala looked sick and recommended euthanasia.

But that’s not all police say they found.

Laguna said in various locations across the property, she found two goats tied up with water, but no food other than “limited” grass; six pigs in two enclosures with “dirty water full of mud, muck (and) bugs” and enclosures “full of feces,” with no food; plus two boars, one sow and six piglets in another enclosure with “water full of mud, muck and insect larvae.”

“There was no food, they all appeared hungry,” she wrote.

She also said she found six more goats with water, but no food and nothing to graze on.

After the veterinarian threw a branch of leaves into their cage, she wrote the goats “all went crazy” trying to eat as if they hadn’t been fed in a long time.

Laguna said she couldn’t find the other two horses, previously seen alive.

“When asked about the other two horses, Musgrove denied having three horses,” Laguna wrote. “I reminded him I read (the previous) report and Musgrove said he had not had those horses for a while.”

A service responsible for picking up dead animals came the next day to pick up Nala, the report states.

According to police, that service told Laguna that Musgrove had it come out to pick up two other horses, on Feb. 27 and 28 respectively.

After his arrest on Wednesday, Musgrove was charged with three counts of cruelty to animals and 26 counts of unlawful abandonment or confinement of an animal.

He was being held in the Broward Main Jail on a $28,000 bond as of Thursday afternoon, records show.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.