Woman Charged with Animal Cruelty after 6 Horses Found Dead

Animal Cruelty
Posted at 4:27 PM, Apr 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-18 12:40:24-04

ST. CLOUD, Fla. (AP) - A central Florida woman has been charged with animal cruelty after authorities say they found six dead horses.

Osceola County sheriff's deputies said they also found four malnourished horses with severe skin infections when they visited a second property in St. Cloud on Saturday. Authorities said in a news release the horses had no access to food and no shelter. Their only source of water was a pond near an overgrown field in the back of the property.

Deputies said the horses on both properties were owned by 55-year-old Melissa Marie Payne. Authorities said additional charges are pending. The Osceola County Corrections website listed she was still in custody Monday. It did not indicate whether she had hired an attorney

The horses were placed with county animal control officials.