Riverview, Florida – RVR Horse Rescue has long been known as a place that nurses neglected horses back to health, but the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on Friday released video of two horses they say the facility neglected.
HSCO gave the horses named Flowers and Valentine to the rescue in January after they were confiscated from a neglectful owner.
"After they had been with the RVR Rescue for about 65 days, we saw that they appeared to be in the same condition as when we left them," said HCSO spokesperson Larry McKinnon.
But volunteers say that both animals were properly fed and cared for each day.
"We were feeding them five times a day," said volunteer Erin Baxter. "We spent lots of time loving on them and caring for them, brushing them, grooming them..."
But a screen grab of an old HSCO Facebook post reads "We'd like to share a Before & After of our very sweet mare, Valentine." The caption was under a photo that purportedly shows a gaunt horse after it first arrived at the rescue in January, and a March photo it which it had gained weight.
Nevertheless, the sheriff's office insisted that two of their veterinarians, and even one from RVR Rescue, said that horses were not being fed enough.
An attorney for RVR blames the sheriff's office for an error that led to the rescue not feeding both horses enough food in the beginning.
Robert Herce said that medical records from a previous veterinarian that checked out the horses were never turned over to the rescue.
"We want to clear the name of RVR. They did nothing wrong and I'm going to demonstrate that there's been some dishonesty here," said Herce.
Horses at RVR Horse Rescue: