Horses rescued, woman arrested after 'worst case of starvation'

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A Titusville woman was arrested after three of her horses were starved. 

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office says that they arrested 53-year-old Clairese Marie Austin of Titusville after an investigation showed that she had failed to provide proper nutrition or veterinarian care for three horses in her care. 

She was reportedly charged with three counts of Animal Cruelty.  She was transported to the Brevard County Jail, where she is being held on a $6,000.00 bond.

Deputies say that the arrested occurred after a citizen alerted the Sheriff's Office. The person was concerned for the welfare of the horses.

An Animal Services unit responded to the rescue location in Mims. Deputies say that three horses were found on the property. They were extremely emaciated and one was not even able to stand. 

The Sheriff's Office spoke to Austin, who confirmed that she was not caring for the horses. She stated that she had not sought veterinarian care for the horses because she could not afford it. One of the horses was in such bad shape that it had to be humanely euthanized at the scene. 

The two remaining horses were seized and transported to the Brevard County Animal Care Center, where they were examined and are currently being cared for. The examining veterinarian determined that the horses were suffering from extreme starvation due to neglect. She also stated that this was the worst case of starvation that she has ever encountered. 

The Sheriff's Office stated in a Facebook post that "if you harm an animal, you need to go straight to jail." 

Austin had her first appearance on Thursday. She is currenlty out on bond. A news conference was held later that day as well.