A veterinarian and her husband in Florida are facing charges of animal neglect after authorities found 40 animals left mistreated on her property. These neglected animals included 28 miniature horses, two horses, eight dogs and two birds.
Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Dr. Gail Anne Nichols and her husband, Paul Craig Smith, on Tuesday after receiving a tip that their animals were not being taken care of properly.
Once authorities got on the scene, they found the horses left with no access to hay and in mud enclosures. Three of the miniature horses had curved hooves and would have to be euthanized. Several of the dogs were also suffering from severe flea infestations.
Nichols told deputies she practices veterinary medicine part time at Gulfport Veterinary Clinic in Port Richey.
“The fact that a practicing, licensed veterinarian caused so much suffering to her own animals is extremely concerning,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “We hope from this point forward she is not allowed to own, or treat, any more animals.”