Two men arrested in illegal slaughter house case
March 19, 2015
Two men were arrested by Miami-Dade police last week for running an illegal slaughter house. G. Santa Ana, 69, and his employee J. Solis, 35, are facing dozens of animal cruelty charges.
The arrests were the result of a five-month investigation that was initiated after a founder of an animal rescue mission visited the illegal slaughterhouse. As the founder of the Animal Recovery Mission, Richard Couto searches the country for illegal operations and animal cruelty; sometimes he even carries a hidden surveillance tape.
The authorities found 9,500 animals on the property, of which, over 3,000 had to be euthanized by veterinarians at the scene because of deplorable conditions, said the police.
According to authorities, the animals were being deprived of food and water, and they were slaughtered using vicious methods. Many dead animals were found throughout the property.
There were various animals found on the property, but most were pigs, goats, cows, and chickens. This was the biggest animal rescue effort made in the United States this year.
Santa Ana was charged with 20 counts of cruelty to animals, three counts of illegally confining animals without food and water, and two counts of illegally shackling with the intent to kill. Solis faces five counts of cruelty to animals and two counts of confining animals without food and water.
Florida’s Animal Cruelty Statute
Under Sec. 828.12, cruelty to animals, it is unlawful for a person to unnecessarily torment, deprive of necessary food or shelter, unnecessarily mutilate, or kill any animal in a cruel or inhuman manner.
Cruelty to animals is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year in jail, or a maximum fine of $5,000, or both.
Under Sec. 828.12(2), if a person intentionally commits an act on any animal, which results in a cruel death, or excessively inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering upon an animal, which results in a cruel death, or excessive pain and suffering, the person commits “aggravated animal cruelty,” which is a felony of the third degree.
The penalties for aggravated animal cruelty in Florida include up to a $10,000 fine, or up to 5 years imprisonment, or both.