39-year-old man Arnold Musgrove; a citizen of Southwest Ranches, a town in Broward County, Florida; was arrested due to an animal neglect and cruelty investigation involving dead and uncared-for farm animals on his property. He was charged with three counts of cruelty to animals and 26 counts of unlawful abandonment or confinement of an animal.
The first report was made by an officer on Jan. 7, which documented 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, two of these horses had disappeared; Musgrove said he had them picked up by a service responsible for picking up dead animals in February, and Nala, the third one, was found in such a sickly state that euthanasia was recommended. She was found with no food or water nearby and “emaciated and breathing heavily, with poorly-cared for teeth, untrimmed hooves and corneal ulcers on both eyes.”
That was not all; the police found other animals as well, in a site that could be considered inhumane. Six goats were found tied up with water but no food, and when the veterinarian threw a branch of leaves into their cage, the goats “went crazy” trying to eat, as if they hadn’t tasted the nectar of food in a very long time.
Aside from the goats, pigs and boars were also found in bad condition: “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.”
Before finally obtaining a search warrant on March 9, however, police tried to investigate the situation multiple times, but Musgrove would not let them in. Once because they were “interrupting his workout and would need to make an appointment,” other times because “he felt it wasn’t in his best interest to speak to police without an attorney,” and other times an officer said he claimed, “he felt ‘targeted’ because he was the ‘new Black man in the neighborhood,’ making numerous references to the investigation being a ‘racial issue’.”
The horses were still seen multiple times in bad conditions by people around the property. On Feb. 27, a witness sent pictures to the police where a horse was seen on the ground covered with a tarp with its back legs kicking. Even though an animal services officer came out the next day, Musgrove wouldn’t let her in the property without his legal representatives, and it appears he also refused a veterinarian.
Who was believed to be Stormy, was also seen on March 7 by police officer Christi Laguna trying to eat out of a small bucket that was half flipped over: “From what I could observe, the quality of the hay was poor… the horse was very thin, its ribs were prominent, tailhead prominent, hook bones and pin bones were also prominent.”
Multiple attempts were made to save these horses and animals before it was too late. Unfortunately, the property on 17781 SW 52nd Court still became the host of cruelty and animal demise.