Published: Jun 12, 2013 3:34 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 12, 2013 5:34 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.- A Charlotte County man now faces animal neglect charges for five horses.

Deputies arrested Victor Viton Tuesday at his home in Punta Gorda. Animal Control officers say when they took the horses several months ago, they were emaciated and infected.

Two of the horses, Buddy and Ember, are looking much healthier today. Their new owners say, in the past couple of months, they each have put on about 400 pounds.

While there's still room to grow, Lt. Brian Jones with Charlote County Animal Control says, the difference is night and day.

"The horses were indeed underweight, infested with internal parasites, and needed a lot of medical care," Lt. Jones said.

They're two of five horses officers took from the property near the Lee County line. Months later, the animals' former owner, Victor Viton, has been charged with animal neglect.

"We talked with the owner who really couldn't produce anything to justify why the horses looked the way that they did," Lt. Jones explained.

Viton said he got the horses for nothing off Craigslist. He said they were in bad shape when he brought them home, and it was his intention to mend them back to health, but between flooding on his property last year and the high price to help move the horses, he said he just couldn't do it.

"Maybe find somebody to help you financially and keep the animal where it is. If you do nothing, then the situation only gets worse," Lt. Jones said.