Crime

Cops find hundreds of starving farm animals, just five troughs to feed them

An emaciated alpaca seized Thursday at a rural property in the Redland in South Miami-Dade.
An emaciated alpaca seized Thursday at a rural property in the Redland in South Miami-Dade. - Miami-Dade Police

Miami-Dade police officers rescued over 200 emaciated animals — including horses, donkeys, pigs, alpacas and emus — from a rural farm in the Redland on Thursday, the department said.

No one has yet been charged in the case, because veterinarians must first examine each animal taken away by Miami-Dade Police and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The investigation began in late December, when Miami-Dade police were called to a dispute between a landlord and his tenant at a five-acre rural property on the 26700 block of Southwest 182nd Avenue. The property is owned by Dvir Derhy, who had made the news before when he was sentenced to 30 days in jail for trying to bribe a Miami fire inspector.

According to court documents obtained by the Herald, police noticed the poor conditions of the animals on property strewn with droppings and dirt. Many of the animals “were experiencing an excessive amount of pain and suffering from a lack of medical attention” and “were seen limping, with some unable to place pressure on their legs.”

The overwhelmed tenant, Earl Miller, moved in two months earlier and told police that he had repeatedly told the landlord that the animals needed medical attention. Some animals were being fed via only five troughs — the cows, sheep and pigs regularly bit, kicked and trampled the smaller goats and sheep, “preventing them from feeding,” according to a search warrant.

Observers from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals determined that the conditions are “not in accordance with normal animal husbandry practices.” That day, authorities seized several animals. Veterinarians had to euthanize three goats and one sheep because of “severe lameness.”

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