Horses confined to tiny backyard at home in Riverview subdivision

Hillsborough County

A Hillsborough County man was arrested on animal abandonment charges after deputies tell News Channel 8 they found a dead horse in his backyard in a Riverview subdivision.

A second horse was taken away from the home and is doing well, according to a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

Neighbors said they had not seen David Wayne Middleton, 60, at his home for weeks.

Deputies responded to Middleton’s home in the Panther Trace subdivision on Wednesday after receiving a complaint about animal neglect.

The small backyard, approximately 40 x 40 feet, had no water, food or shelter available for the horses, the sheriff’s spokeswoman said in a press release.

Middleton’s daughter went by the home Friday. She spoke to News Channel 8 but didn’t want her identity mentioned on air.

“They were just sad. And Magic was old. He was an old horse. He was in his mid-20s,” the woman said. 

Magic is the horse that died.

The man’s daughter said her dad has dementia and likely had no idea where he was keeping the horses.

“For him, he might have thought he was on a ranch,” the woman said. 

“Anyone who knows him, he’s one of the biggest animal advocates. I get that quality from him. They know he would never abandon an animal or neglect or abuse. Ever.”

The surviving horse was transported to a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office shelter where it is receiving medical care. 

A video of the horse, named Levi, shows it enjoying grass in a field Friday afternoon.

Middleton is now charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals. Deputies say, Middleton, who has more than 10 years of experience with horses, failed to seek veterinarian advice or services resulting in the cruel death of the horse.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Hasbro launches website to keep families busy

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hasbro launches website to keep families busy"

USF's food pantry helps fight food insecurities amid pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "USF's food pantry helps fight food insecurities amid pandemic"

1 dead, 2 injured in Lakeland crash

Thumbnail for the video titled "1 dead, 2 injured in Lakeland crash"

Monday Morning Forecast

Thumbnail for the video titled "Monday Morning Forecast"

Two cruise ships with Floridians board stuck at sea with deceased and sick passengers

Thumbnail for the video titled "Two cruise ships with Floridians board stuck at sea with deceased and sick passengers"

Gov. DeSantis addresses cruise ships looking to dock in Florida

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gov. DeSantis addresses cruise ships looking to dock in Florida"

Trump says he will speak with DeSantis about cruise ships

Thumbnail for the video titled "Trump says he will speak with DeSantis about cruise ships"

What money is out there for struggling small businesses?

Thumbnail for the video titled "What money is out there for struggling small businesses?"

Coronavirus test results delayed up to 14 days in Florida

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coronavirus test results delayed up to 14 days in Florida"

Better Call Behnken helps Port Richey woman get assurance her power won't be disconnected

Thumbnail for the video titled "Better Call Behnken helps Port Richey woman get assurance her power won't be disconnected"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss