Published: Apr 07, 2010 11:30 PM EDT

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - Corporal Randy Hodges with the Lee County Sheriff's Office Agricultural Unit says he's never had someone blatantly admit to animal neglect, until now.

"He explained to us that he basically... ...since last week," said Hodges.

Deputies arrested joseph reyes yesterday for leaving nearly a dozen animals without food or water on a North Fort Myers property. He faces 9 animal abuse charges.

A neighbor reported smelling something foul coming from his property. One goat got its head stuck in a fence while apparently trying to reach rainwater in a bucket on the other side. Another was so sick it couldn't stand and ultimately died in a neighbor's care.

"They're just like children...should get rid of them," said Hodges.

Neighbor hailey wooten across the street was upset to hear two animals had died

"Why do that...can't afford them," said Wooten.

We tried to call Reyes and reached his spouse who hung up the phone when we asked about the animals. The neighbor who reported what was going on says reyes was keeping the animals for tax purposes.

"There's no excuse for this. If you're going to have animals you have to care of them." said Hodges.