Woman charged with neglecting horses -- again - FOX 13 News

Woman charged with neglecting horses -- again

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

It was a grim scene on a warm October night: three horses down on the ground, so sick and emaciated they had to be euthanized to end their suffering.

Now, the woman suspected of starving those horses in Hillsborough County is accused of doing it again in another part of Florida.

Last Friday, Clay County deputies arrested 43-year-old Deanna Biscardi of Keystone Heights and charged her with eight counts of felony animal cruelty.

The arrest came after finding six painfully thin horses at her home. One deputy described them as "skin and bones," and at least two are hundreds of pounds underweight.

They were also suffering from skin problems and diarrhea.

Two other horses had been repossessed by a previous owner who is now feeding them and bringing them back to a healthy weight.

The head of Clay County Animal Control, Dr. Jennifer Broadhurst, calls it one of the worst cases of horse neglect she has seen.

"I was glad they're actually doing something to protect the horses I feel bad that the horses had to go through," Vicky Miller said.

Shawn Jayroe of RVR Horse Rescue in Riverview was in disbelief when she heard about Biscardi's arrest.

"I couldn't believe she was doing it again. I just didn't understand how people can get away with that," Jayroe said.

RVR is the rescue that took six of Biscardi's horses last fall. Jayroe says three horses didn't even make it 24 hours.

A fourth, Bella, hung in there for three weeks before they finally had to let her go. Two horses survived. " Solo" is in the process of being adopted. "Shasta" is now healthy and up for adoption.

Larry McKinnon of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office told FOX 13 they're doing a direct filing with the state attorney and expect Biscardi to be charged with animal cruelty and neglect for the horses in Hillsborough County. When and how many charges is still to be determined.

Jayroe says cases like this are happening much too often, and she's grateful Clay County is taking action.

"This stuff needs to stop. We need stiffer penalties on people who do stuff like this. We have to," Jayroe said.

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