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A horse appears at Southwest Ranches town council meeting in support of new law

The Southwest Ranches Town Council unanimously approved a new law Thursday night that implements the most stringent penalties in the state against anyone who harms a horse.

To make their point, a horse was brought to the meeting.

Under the law, anyone caught killing, maiming, mutilating or causing harm or permanent disability to a horse would face a maximum $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

Southwest Ranches, known for its horse trails, equestrian parks, ranches and farms, implemented the law after Marco, a former thoroughbred racehorse, was stolen from his home and slaughtered for his meat this summer.

“This law is very good and at the same time it brings back his memory,” said Suso Sangiao-Parga, Marco’s owner. “If someone is capable of doing that to an animal, the next step is a human being. The law is even too lenient, it should be harder.”