CLEWISTON, Fla. - A Clewiston man is facing animal cruelty charges after Hendry County agriculture deputies found a horse carcass and a dying horse on his property.

They arrived to the area of 34915 CR 833 after receiving a call reporting that horses there were in poor condition, according to an email from Capt. Susan Harrelle of the Hendry County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies told the horse owner, 50-year-old Hector Guardia, they were checking on the horses' welfare. They found the carcass of one horse, which Guardia said was not his. He said the dead horse had been attacked by a panther and never recovered from the attack, Harrelle wrote.



A second horse was found alive on the property but in poor health. The Appaloosa breed was found lying on the ground on its side. Harrelle said that it was clear that Guardia had been bringing the horse food. 

Guardia said that the horse was more than 31 years old, and he had owned it for about 14 years. He said the horse had been on the property for about a year.  

A veterinarian conducted several tests and determined that because of the poor health condition of the horse, it needed to be put down by injection. 

Guardia was issued a notice to appear on charges of animal cruelty, a first degree misdemeanor. His court date is set for June 24.

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