A Polk County couple was arrested Tuesday on charges of abusing nearly two dozen horses in their care.
Deputies arrested Jacob Caudy, 28, and Emily Cowper, 24, after receiving a tip from a neighbor and serving a search warrant on their Lakeland property.
Investigators seized a total of 19 horses. One of the horses was in severe distress when they arrived and did not survive. Deputies say the other horses weren't given enough food or water, and many were emaciated.
Investigators say Caudy and Cowper had taken over $1,200 from a woman in California to take care of her thoroughbred "Dixie Boy." Deputies say the horse was found at the property in a "skeletal state, confined in a fenced compound without sufficient food or water."
In addition to the horses, one dog, two cats, 14 snakes, two iguanas, and multiple birds were also seized. All of the animals are now being cared for at either Polk County Animal Control or at a sheriff's office stockade in Bartow.
Caudy and Cowper are each charged with felony animal cruelty, along with 45 counts each of confining an animal without sufficient food and water. Both were taken to the Polk County jail.