2 arrested after sick, malnourished horses seized in Lakeland

Updated:

LAKELAND, Fla. —

A Lakeland couple faces animal cruelty charges after 19 neglected horses were seized from their property, including one that died of malnutrition.
 
Polk County deputies arrested Jacob Caudy, 28, and Emily Cowper, 24, on Monday.
 
Arrest affidavits said the couple was paid more than $1,200 by a California woman to care for her 8-year-old thoroughbred. Deputies found the horse in a skeletal state, confined to a fenced compound without sufficient food and water.

Deputies said 19 horses were found, but one horse died at the scene while being treated.

"This man and woman not only neglected horses, leading to the death of one, they stole money and lied to law enforcement. They don't deserve to have any animals in their possession, ever again." said Sheriff Grady Judd of the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Officials said the man and woman each face one count of felony animal cruelty and 45 counts of confining animal without sufficient food and water. Cowper also faces a felony grand theft charge.

It's unclear whether they have retained attorneys.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.