LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee County Sheriff's deputies arrested 37-year-old Jaime Cardoza today, for allegedly allowing her horses run at large on North River Rd. in Alva.
Deputies were dispatched to the area just after 8:00 a.m. when a neighbor said she had counted 11 horses running wild over the past several days. Deputies were able to round up the horses, and noticed more of them, all malnourished, in a pasture with a dilapidated fence at 22270 North River Rd.
When confronted, Cardoza allegedly told deputies she knew the horses were loose, and had attempted to catch them the night before.
After completing the investigation, deputies determined Cardoza owned nine horses that were negligently allowed to run free, because she failed to maintain a proper fence for them.
According to LCSO, there was not probable cause to charge Cardoza with animal cruelty, however all 13 of her horses were seized due to malnourishment. Deputies said there was no grass in the pasture, and Cardoza was financially unable to provide for the animals. The horses were taken to the LCSO Livestock Impound Yard. Cardoza voluntarily surrendered permanent custody of six of the horses. LCSO will seek court-ordered custody of the remaining seven.