‘Worst case of starvation:' Owner arrested after 3 horses found starving at horse rescue

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — A Titusville woman is facing animal cruelty charges after sherriff's deputies said they found three starving horses in her care.

Deputies said one of the horses was in such poor shape, it had to be euthanized.

Earlier Thursday, an animal services unit removed yet another horse from "Horse Sisters Rescue."

The horses are now recovering at a Brevard County animal care center.

A veterinarian determined that the horses were suffering from extreme starvation, the worst case she had ever encountered.

Deputies said the 53-year-old suspect, Clairese Austin, admitted not caring for the horses, saying she had not sought veterinarian care for the horses because she could not afford it.

But the county's sheriff said Austin did manage to come up with her $6,000 bond.


Investigators said she's the owner of Horse Sisters Rescue in Mims, and they've dealt with her before, when horses were found roaming around in the past.

This arrest happened after the Sheriff's Office was contacted by someone concerned about the welfare of the horses, particularly one horse that was unable to stand.

Now, animal services will ask a judge not to return the horses to Austin.

Clairese Marie Austin, 53, of Titusville failed to provide proper nutrition or veterinary care for the three horses, deputies said.

A woman was arrested on animal cruelty charges after deputies found three starved horses at her horse rescue facility, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said.

“We've done everything we could up to this point to hold Clairese Austin accountable,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey.

This investigation is not over, and Austin still has other horses on her property.