FRESNO, Calif., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Fresno County sheriffs said they found eight malnourished horses on land owned by a couple who won a $40 million California Lottery jackpot.
The owner of the horses, Jose Francisco Romo, was arrested Wednesday on felony animal cruelty charges, The Fresno Bee reported.
Authorities found 11 horses on the property in total.
Romo signed over ownership of all of them to the Central California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said Beth Caffrey, the SPCA's human education administrator.
Melanie Skadden, a neighbor of Romo's, called the SPCA after seeing several underfed-looking horses on the property. She said Romo and his wife, Trudy, moved to the home shortly after winning the lottery in 2001.
Caffrey said the poor economy was a reason for people mistreating horses, adding the SPCA seized 30 that were malnourished or mistreated from farms and ranches in California in December.
"It's probably going to get worse," she said. "That's what we're terrified of."
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