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South Carolina Man Charged With Animal Cruelty

A South Carolina man is facing animal cruelty charges after riding his horse from his home state of South Carolina to Key West, Florida attempting to create a new life for himself after going through a period of rough times in his personal life. The man, who started his trek over four months ago, was arrested in Miami-Dade County after law enforcement was alerted that the horse was not well.  The man’s horse, Trigger, was reported in poor physical condition from being ridden for such a long distance without proper care. The animal was taken from the man and is being housed in a stable pending further evaluation of his condition.

Animal Cruelty Defined

In Florida, as in most jurisdictions, animal cruelty is against the law. The crime of animal cruelty is codified in Florida Statute Section 828.12. Cruelty to animals encompasses a wide range of activities, including unnecessarily overloading or overworking an animal in a cruel or inhumane manner. Whether the South Carolina man’s actions fall into that category will be up to the courts to decide and will likely require a close look into the specific facts of his case. Actions that fall into this category are charged as first degree misdemeanors. If one intentionally commits an act that results in the cruel death of an animal, the action is charged as a third-degree felony.

Punishments Imposed

Punishments for those found guilty of animal cruelty include incarceration, fines, counseling, anger management, or a combination of any of the above. Those who somehow are involved in these acts or allow them to happen can be charged as well. Multiple acts can be charged as separate offenses, and subsequent acts can result in increased penalties and punishments.


Provisions in the law protect veterinarians licensed in Florida.  The law also contains provisions that protect the action of individuals who act against an animal for the purpose of protecting the safety and well-being of another person or other animal.

We Can Help You Today

Being charged with a crime is something that must be taken seriously from the start. If you are facing criminal charges, you need effect criminal defense counsel. It is important that you contact the office of Deric Zacca, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale. Attorney Deric Zacca has years of experience working both as a prosecutor as well as a criminal defense attorney. You deserve to have the best working on your side – contact us today.