Valley man charged in horse cruelty case

LAVEEN, AZ - Maricopa County sheriff's officials say a 33-year-old man has been arrested after two horses were found neglected.

Jesse Noriega was arrested on charges of felony cruelty to animals on Wednesday after a monthlong investigation.

According to a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office news release, deputies received a tip on June 8 of two horses on a property near 59th Avenue and Broadway Road.

Animal crimes detectives found a fully grown mare and its colt extremely thin and malnourished.

It also appeared the mare had a broken ankle and a veterinarian on the scene determined the mare needed to be euthanized in order to alleviate and further suffering.

Noriega reportedly told detectives that he owned the mare for two years and claimed full responsibility for their condition.

The colt is now being cared for by the sheriff's office MASH Unit which cares for confiscated animals.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says detectives have seized nine horses over the past two weeks, four of which had to be euthanized.

Two people have been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.

Sheriff's officials say the MASH Unit is currently housing 14 horses, including two that are eligible for adoption, along with the colt.

Anyone interested in adopting a horse can contact the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office at 602-290-0930 or 602-526-4594.

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