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Demand Justice for Starved Miniature Horses

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Originally Posted: July 25, 2012

Demand Justice for Starved Miniature Horses


miniature, horse, starvation, crueltyACTION

Tell Hillsborough County (FL) Prosecutor's office to let people know that animal cruelty will be taken seriously by sentencing Deputy Pamela Belo to the maximum jail sentence allowable by law for the starvation of four miniature horses and the death of one.

Sign an online petition (copy/paste URL into your browser):

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Hillsborough County Prosecutor
PO Box 1110
Tampa FL 33601
phone for Office of Neighborhood Relations (813) 307-3564
phone for COunty Center (813) 272-5900
Online contact:


Pamela Belo worked as a veteran Deputy with the Hillsborough, Florida, Country Sheriff’s Office. Sworn to protect and serve the citizens of Hillsborough, Belo apparently made no such commitment to her own pets. On July 3rd, 2012, Belo surrendered four severely malnourished miniature horses to Riverview based RVR Horse Rescue. One of the horses, Warrior (pictured), was so skinny that RVR founder Shawn Jayroe described the animal as ‘a little skeleton with a head’. Warrior, weighing about half of what a healthy horse of his breed should, unfortunately passed just three days after Belo surrendered him.

The months before Warrior’s death must have been agony. His hooves were so overgrown that the he could not even stand up. This would be torture for any species, but even more so for horses who commonly suffer internal organ damage if they remain down for too long. Warrior was reported to have nudged and licked rescue workers as they tried to save the 14-year-old’s life.

The other three horses in Belo’s care included a 10-year-old stallion named Spirit, and a mother and daughter pair named Sandy and Lily. The foal, Lily, was feral from lack of human interaction. A criminal investigation revealed that all four horses had been in Belo’s care since July 2011. The three surviving animals are expected to survive and will eventually be put up for adoption.

Belo, who had been a Deputy for 23 years, was suspended without pay and later resigned from her job. She was arrested for animal cruelty and released on $2,500 bail. If convicted, Belo faces up to five years in prison. By signing this petition, you are asking that Belo be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Miniature horses, on average, cost about $10 a day to feed properly. If Belo could not have afforded that, she should have surrendered or re-homed the animals long before she did. Just as it is a Deputy’s responsibility to protect the public, it is a pet owner’s job to protect and provide proper care for their animals. Belo failed in that task, caused one of her horses to die, and risked the lives of the others. That neglect should not go unpunished.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!