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Neglected horses die; animal control can't do much about it

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Updated: 4/30/2013 6:34 pm

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla.-- Neighbors tell Action News that nine Keystone Heights animals are withering away.

"The animals have been slowly declining and getting skinny and losing weight," said property owner Juliette Lucas.

The hay that they do have, Lucas says, is stored on top of a virtual cesspool.

"The horses are sick probably because there's raw sewage going into the ground," she said.

Lucas says her tenant, Deborah McCarty, has neglected her animals to the point where two have already died. Their carcasses were just carted off after they sat in her yard for several days.

Action News was at McCarty's RV when Clay County Sheriff's deputies served eviction papers, but Lucas is worried about the animals that are left behind. She says Animal Control is doing little to solve the problem. Agricultural officers tell Action News the situation simply isn't bad enough for them to take action.

"Animal Control is checking the horses every four days and that's about as good as we can do," said agricultural liaison officer Gayward Hendry.

Action News tracked down McCarty herself, but she declined to speak to a reporter.

Lucas is relieved that authorities are helping her with the eviction process, but she's frustrated that nobody is helping the animals.

"I hope the best for the animals," she said. "Two of them are out of their misery now."

Police say McCarty now has five days to respond to the eviction notice, but even that process could take months before she is kicked out.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Janwindsong - 3/13/2014 1:28 PM
0 Votes
Law enforcement has all the power they need. FLORIDA STATUTES TITLE LVI. CRIMES CHAPTER 828. ANIMALS: CRUELTY; SALES; ANIMAL ENTERPRISE PROTECTION: 828.073. Animals found in distress; when agent may take charge; hearing; disposition; sale (1) The purpose of this section is to provide a means by which a neglected or mistreated animal can be: (a) Removed from its present custody, or (b) Made the subject of an order to provide care, issued to its owner by the county court, any law enforcement officer, or any agent of the county or of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals appointed under s. 828.03, and given protection and an appropriate and humane disposition made. (2) Any law enforcement officer or any agent of any county or of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals appointed under the provisions of s. 828.03 may: (a) Lawfully take custody of any animal found neglected or cruelly treated by removing the animal from its present location, or (b) Order the owner of any animal found neglected or cruelly treated to provide certain care to the animal at the owner's expense without removal of the animal from its present location... There is also this: 828.13. Confinement of animals without sufficient food, water, or exercise; abandonment of animals There is law, it is a matter of being enforced. These officers who are witnessing this abuse should themselves be charged with cruelty.

theothergirl - 5/1/2013 2:47 AM
0 Votes
That while the characters depicted may resemble true life people it is only based on life events and should not be misconstrued as historical happenings. The characters are fictional in all parta except the original story teller Ms. Lucas. While Debra Mcarry may refuse to comment, I have not a second of remorse in exposing the truth. Ms. Mccarty would never lower herself to the ultimate level of betrayal that Ms. Lucas has exhibited. I, however, believe in the truth and if that means facing off with the devil, well the devil be damned. Next time, actionneqsjax, I would suggest reaching out to witnesses that are a little further than the end of your nose. Truly, whatever happened to the concept of verifying a story or labeling a story as an op ed piece or even just the most minute of tactics of walking up to the door of one of the other, ON PROPERTY, tenants and simply stating "this is what we have been told. Can you give us any verificarion of accuracy? Actionnewsjax, you seriously missed the mark on this one. Great job. I had to double check tje website and make sure I can not site jumped and landed myseld in the Enquirer

theothergirl - 5/1/2013 1:59 AM
0 Votes
Unfortunately what you have here is action news jax CHOOSING to report on a very tragic and heart breaking story. A story about heart break at the loss of beloved pets. A story that does not even resemble even a fraction of the truth because if it did it would have included the fact that the vet had examined the animals and found the gita twisted. A "twisted gut" comes from rolling due to a stomach ache. Most often this is the result of sand colic. As the animals were forced into the small pasture, again at the hand of the landlord. The truth being where ahe makea her money and how she has forced other tenants out or confiscated properties or government assistance for rent payment. Truly, what type of person takes an elderly disabled man's food stamp card leaving him with nothing? There is so much truth that is missing feom thia story that what you have actually reported on is opinion and conjecture of a miserable and wretched woman that is so unhappy with her own plight in life that she can not stand to see anyone happy. She sets out on a path of destruction until she has sucked all of the life force from her victim. Yes, it is very sad that these beautiful animals had to suffer. It is even more sad that a family who is merely trting to survive in this horrid state of economic malfunction has lost the two family members and publicly humiliated and accused of causing the horror to their beloved pets. However it is "theothergirls" opinion that the saddest part is that action news chose to report on such a biased piece of trash without one iota of concern for the actual truth. Why? Because thw truth of this story is sadness and doea not sell papers and ad space. No instead acrion news rwpoetws the biased money making public outcry provoking advocate group stalking type of article. The kind that when the very person it is written about doesnt even recognize themself as the star. Literally the typeof article that should have a disclaimer in the preface stating that

theothergirl - 5/1/2013 1:48 AM
0 Votes
Unfortunately what you have here is action news jax CHOOSING to report on a very tragic and heart breaking story. A story about heart break at the loss of beloved pets. A story that does not even resemble even a fraction of the truth because if it did it would have included the fact that the vet had examined the animals and found the gita twisted. A "twisted gut" comes from rolling due to a stomach ache. Most often this is the result of sand colic. As the animals were forced into the small pasture, again at the hand of the landlord. The truth being where ahe makea her money and how she has forced other tenants out or confiscated properties or government assistance for rent payment. Truly, what type of person takes an elderly disabled man's food stamp card leaving him with nothing? There is so much truth that is missing feom thia story that what you have actually reported on is opinion and conjecture of a miserable and wretched woman that is so unhappy with her own plight in life that she can not stand to see anyone happy. She sets out on a path of destruction until she has sucked all of the life force from her victim. Yes, it is very sad that these beautiful animals had to suffer. It is even more sad that a family who is merely trting to survive in this horrid state of economic malfunction has lost the two family members and publicly humiliated and accused of causing the horror to their beloved pets. However it is "theothergirls" opinion that the saddest part is that action news chose to report on such a biased piece of trash without one iota of concern for the actual truth. Why? Because thw truth of this story is sadness and doea not sell papers and ad space. No instead acrion news rwpoetws the biased money making public outcry provoking advocate group stalking type of article. The kind that when the very person it is written about doesnt even recognize themself as the star. Literally the typeof article that should have a disclaimer in the preface stating that

theothergirl - 5/1/2013 1:15 AM
0 Votes
Unfortunately you only have the side of Ms. Lucas. Rest assured this woman is not going to admit to anything that she has done to perpetuate thw plight that Ms. Mccarty is in. Ms. Lucas agrred to several things prior to Ms. Mccarty choosing to move in. For example the use of the 15 acres of fenced pasture tjat she later roved rhe gatea from requiring the equine to ne confined the 2 acres. Also after having received the deposit money foe Clay elwctric she cut the electric off, forcing the tenant to pay another deposit to havw Clay reconnect in her own name which Ms. Mccarty has not received any reimbursement for the original deposit paid to Ms. Lucas. There is no septic system however under the guidance and instruction of Ms. Lucas herself a makeshift septic system was devised. Ofcourse Ms. Lucas is claiming there ia raw sewage. It was by her own instruction that these conditions were developed. Additionally did Ms. Lucas bother to tell you that she was offering people cash as an incentive to harrass and/or make trouble for Ms. Mccarty? In one particular incident she offered to pay a man $200 to remove the trailer that she is living in. She has repeatedly called law enforcement and animal control and anybody else that she thought would listen in an attempt to make life so miaerable that the tenant would leave. The truth is Ms. Mcarty has not violated any of the agreements made prior to moving in. She has consistently paid what was owed and tried very hard to not cause trouble. In return she has been harrassed by citizens and law enforcent at the insiatance of Ms. Lucas, had her power shut off in an attempt to force her out, which btw is in direct violation to landlord tenant law. Her daughter has been threatened. The unsanitaey sewage condition is, by law, the responsibility of the landlord. Which by her own interview admitted to being guilty of the raw sewage exposure. Unfoetunately

FHRRORG - 4/30/2013 5:56 PM
0 Votes
This is seen way to much during this recession. We are Family Horse Ranch & Rescue INC. From Saint Augustine, If there is anything we can do to help please let us know 904.415.3540 ask for Richard Kirkman or call Lisa at 904.415.1761 Our prayers go out to the horses and we do need to give more power to law enforcement to make sure that animals do not have to wither away to the point they are near death to be rescued.
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