A Plant City woman has turned herself in after a 25-year-old thoroughbred gelding in her care was found "emaciated" due to neglect, according to a report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The case leading up to the arrest of Lynda Jo Vilches, also known as Lynda Jo Willard, started in April, when investigators looked into a tip that a horse had been suffering from abuse.
On May 18, Vilches reportedly turned herself in to the Hillsborough County Jail. A felony count of animal cruelty has been lodged. According to the sheriff's report, released May 31, agriculture detectives "determined that while 'Rusty' was under the care of Lynda Jo Vilches, she deprived him of the proper nourishment by feeding him so little he suffered malnutrition amounting to excessive and unnecessary pain and suffering."