NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) – Authorities are asking for help in finding the person or people who butchered a 5-year-old miniature horse and left her in pieces by the side of the road in a remote section of Northwest Miami-Dade.

It is the third such discovery of a slaughtered horse in Miami-Dade in the past two months.

Richard Couto, the founder of the Animal Recovery Mission, said the Miniature Horse was found in the exact same spot in the C-9 basin at Northwest 179th Street and 129th Ave. where another butchered horse was found a month ago.

“That was a quarterhorse that had been used for racing and I am 95 per cent certain the same killers have struck again,” said Couto. Couto says another horse was found slaughtered on Dec. 26th of last year in a Southwest Miami-Dade canal and that crime was not connected to the other two horses.

Couto told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he was horrified by the latest discovery of the Miniature Horse.

“The animal was tortured and is in roughly 20 to 30 pieces behind me,” said Couto. “There are some sick people out there that have been doing this in Miami-Dade County for 50 years. These are violent, evil people. These are nasty, nasty people.”

“There are some sick people who have been doing this for 50 years in Miami-Dade County,” said Couto. “And it’s going to go on for another 50 years. What we are trying to do is lessen the impact and give the animals a little relief as we start these investigations.”

Couto said even the horse was small, she was probably slaughtered for her meat.

“She was probably slaughtered last night for human consumption,” said Couto. “Probably for someone after a barbecue on this holiday weekend. This meat went on the black market for sure. It’s what people do in this area.”

Couto said someone driving by the spot called authorities.

He said the horse was almost certainly slaughtered somewhere else and then dumped in the C-9 basin.

“It’s not easy to find these people who are doing this in remote areas in the dark of the night,” Couto said.

It’s not known if the horse was stolen or slaughtered by her owner.

“You’d better watch out because we are coming for you,” said Couto.

He urged you to call his Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477) if you know of anyone involved with slaughtering or harming horses.

He also said the public could contact him directly at

“We take horse slaughter very seriously in the state of Florida,” said Couto. “This is very, very serious. Whoever is doing this, let’s change your menu. Horse meat is not on the menu in South Florida.”

“I’m concerned because if you can torture a horse, you can probably torture a human being,” said Couto.

Couto said that under a law passed a year and a half ago, it is a 3rd degree felony to slaughter a horse.

Couto said anyone who is convicted of that must serve a mandatory, minimum term of a year in jail and a $3500 fine. Couto said that even applies to first offenders.

This new law was passed after a rash of horse slaughters that mostly occurred in Miami-Dade.

“This latest slaughter of the Miniature horse was very sad to see,” said Couto. “She was found with a few punctures under her throat area.”

Comments (7)
  1. Tom Durfee says:

    If caught and if found guilty they should be executed!

  2. Jenny says:

    I hope they CHOKE.

  3. Stacy Ferris.. Ocala fl says:

    One year in jail big deal our Animal Laws have to change in the state of Florida!!!!!!!

  4. Harriett Underwood says:

    I agree, execution would be perfect. Firing squad or hanging would be good. To prevent some of this, remember our current president just voted to pass the bill to slaughter horses for human consumtion.
    Appreciate Richard Couto’s statement… if they can torture and kill animals as those horses were… you can bet that humans are not safe with such people. Florida needs to uphold the law not to slaughter horses in their state. I think I will nominate Couto for president. Man has become the beast… not the four legged beings.

  5. Easy Street Horse Rescue says:

    thank you for posting this story,. Horses need the help of the media to make the public aware of what is going on and what danger the horses are in.

  6. Raul says:

    Must be the cubans doing this.

  7. Horse lover says:

    FL Statute 828.125 makes it a 2nd degree felony, not a 3rd degree felony, to unlawfully kill any horse.

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