Published: Sep 04, 2012 10:33 AM EDT

BELLVIEW, Fla. (AP) - Authorities in the Florida Panhandle have seized seven malnourished horses in connection with an animal abuse case that dates back to 2005.
    
Investigators from Panhandle Equine Rescue Inc., Escambia County Animal Control and the sheriff's Office discovered the horses living in muddy, manure-filled stalls and seized them on Aug. 10.
    
The horses' 78-year-old owner was charged with two counts each of unlawful confinement or abandonment of animals and tormenting or depriving animals.
    
Panhandle Equine Rescue president Diane Lowery tells the Pensacola News Journal (http://on.pnj.com/OhkD3x ) that authorities seized 18 horses from the man in 2005. Once conditions on his property improved, several horses were returned to him.
    
Lowery says conditions deteriorated again and the animals needed to be removed.
    
The horses are being held at a sheriff's office livestock holding facility.
    
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Information from: Pensacola News Journal, http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com

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