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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 6/3/2014 

 Lakeland Couple Arrested For Felony Animal Cruelty  


On Monday, June 2, 2014, PCSO Agricultural Crimes deputies arrested 28-year-old Jacob Caudy and 24-year-old Emily Cowper, both of 6708 Broken Arrow Trail South in Lakeland, and charged them with several charges stemming from an investigation into animal cruelty. 

According to the affidavits, Caudy and Cowper have been paid since 2011 by the victim, Anita Tucker (who lives in California), to care for her thoroughbred 8-to-15-year-old horse, “Dixie Boy.”  Ms. Tucker provided PCSO deputies with copies of checks paid to Caudy and Cowper totaling over $1200 for the care of Dixie Boy. On April 24, 2014, Dixie Boy was found at the property in a skeletal state, confined in a fenced compound without sufficient food or water. The suspects told deputies they had taken Dixie Boy to the vet a week prior, but the deputies were able to prove otherwise. The horse was turned over to PCSO at that time. 

During the ongoing investigation, deputies served a search warrant at property used by the couple to board/train horses at 9920 Steven Drive in Polk City, and located several other horses and animals on the property that were not properly being cared for, without sufficient food, water, or care. 

Deputies seized a total of 19 horses, one of which was emaciated, dehydrated and in distress – that horse died on-scene while being treated by a veterinarian. Caudy told deputies that horse had been laying on the ground for at least one day. Caudy says the horse belonged to her and was between 1 to 2 years of age. 

Deputies also seized one dog, one cat, one kitten, 14 snakes, two iguanas, one African grey parrot, and one lovebird. All of these animals are at PCSO Animal Control. 

Seven of the seized horses are at PCSO Animal Control being treated by the PCSO Animal Control veterinarian; ten of the more healthy horses are at a PCSO stockade in Bartow; the deceased horse is having a necropsy performed a PCSO Animal Control today (June 3, 2014); Dixie Boy is at Hope Equine Rescue in Auburndale. 

During a search of the residence, deputies located a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s badge, which Caudy told deputies he stole from a residence while visiting a friend whose husband is a HCSO deputy sheriff.

Caudy was booked into the Polk County Jail for:

·         One count Petit Theft (M-1)

·         One count Felony Animal Cruelty (F-3)

·         45 counts Confining Animal Without Sufficient Food & Water (M-1)


Cowper was booked into the Polk County Jail for:

·         One count Perjury (M-1)

·         One count Grand Theft (F-3)

·         One count Felony Animal Cruelty (F-3)

·         45 counts Confining Animal Without Sufficient Food & Water (M-1)


A "before" photo of Dixie Boy is posted here – he is now at Hope Equine Rescue in Auburndale, and he has gained 91 lbs. in the past four weeks. Here is a  link to their website: