OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, Fla. - CAUTION: SOME OF THE PHOTOS MAY BE DISTURBING
Two West Palm Beach residents are under arrest following the discovery of several emaciated cows.
Acting on a tip deputies responded to a field in the 170000 block of NW 96th Street in Okeechobee County and found 47 cows and calves.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office says one cow was on its side and appeared to be "skin pulled over bones."
Another was on its side on the incline of a dry ditch with a calf nearby.
Investigators say the pasture had no grass and was covered with cow feces. Two cows had to be put down.
Hay and water was brought in and a neighbor is allowing the animals on his property where grass is plentiful.
Deputies say they later discovered the owners of the cows had another 40 acres of land which had 27 head of cattle and calves in the same condition.
Thursday night they arrested David N. and Kathlene Howell of West Palm Beach.
"We are seeing an increase of these types of cases and the economic situation is probably the leading cause. I don't consider this an excuse, the price of beef has been good recently and before it gets to where we have to intervene, something could have been done," said Okeechobee County Sheriff Paul C. May, in a written release.
The Howells each face 4 counts of cruelty to animals.