AGUILA, AZ - Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies have arrested a 27-year-old man on charges of animal cruelty over the improper care of four horses.
According to an MCSO news release, detectives searched Jason Valenzuela's Aguila home on Tuesday and seized all four horses after it was determined they had been neglected and in dire need of food and medical attention.
Three of the horses had dental issues in which their teeth had curled, not allowing them to eat and causing starvation. Additional medical issues were also not taken care of, according to MCSO.
Once medically cleared, the horses will be cared for by inmates from the MCSO Tent City jail.
Authorities say detectives started the investigation last August after receiving a tip through the MCSO Animal Cruelty Hotline.
At the time, detectives visited the property and discovered the horses were in fair condition.
MCSO says detectives advised Valenzuela on how to properly care for the animals and continued to check on them through the end of the year, noting improvements.
When a sheriff's deputy visited the residence on January 31, 2014 the deputy noted the horses were worse off than before and immediately notified Sheriff's Animal Crimes detectives.
Valenzuela was taken into custody at his home and booked into jail on seven counts of animal cruelty.
According to MCSO, the department currently has five horses, 29 dogs and 27 cats that are adoptable and being taken care of inmates. If you're interested in adopting one of these animals call 602-876-1212.