Florida Keys

He tried to ride a horse to Key West. He got charged. The horse just got a new life

Sheriff Rick Ramsay checks out Trigger on Trigger’s first day at the animal farm.
Sheriff Rick Ramsay checks out Trigger on Trigger’s first day at the animal farm.

A horse that a man tried to ride from South Carolina to Key West has finally made it to the Southernmost City — but with its rider left behind.

Trigger, seized by Miami-Dade police in November as Chris Emerson was riding him south off U.S. 1, is now living at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm on Stock Island after being nourished back to health. When Trigger was found, he was malnourished and his ribs were showing.

Emerson was charged with animal cruelty and part of his plea deal was to give up Trigger. The South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had been housing him, but then looked south to see if Trigger could live out the rest of his days at the Keys animal farm. Farm officials said yes, as they usually do in such cases. Trigger arrived Monday.

“He is blind in one eye so we have to make sure we talk to him to let him know where we are when we are close by,” said farmer Jeanne Selander, who is charged with caring for Trigger. “His wounds are all healed now. He has been eating well and all the loving care he has been given at the South Florida SPCA shows.”

The animal farm takes in abandoned and abused animals. It has some 150 animals, from farm animals to exotics such as sloths, an emu and snakes.

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