Man Arrested for Animal Cruelty

                                 NEWS RELEASE #: 17-069 - MARCH 3, 2017

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a man Thursday evening after discovering he was severely negligent in caring for the health and well-being of his two horses.

On March 1, deputies responded to the area of Albin Avenue in North Port around noon for a report of a stray horse wandering on the road. Nearby officers from the North Port Police Department located the horse, who was visibly malnourished, and transported it safely back to its pasture located on the 6300 block of Malton Street. Deputies identified the owner, 42-year-old William Dufresne, and after questioning him, learned that he owned two horses and kept both in the same pasture. Investigation of the pasture revealed that it was in poor condition, with no grass for grazing and lacking the necessary feed to nourish the horses properly. Both horses displayed signs of malnourishment and were in need of grooming. Further investigation showed that Dufresne had been reported to authorities in December and was aware that he needed to improve the quality of care for both horses. Dufresne relinquished custody and both horses were transported to a care facility for treatment.

Dufresne, of 5611 Ganyard Avenue in North Port, is charged with two counts of Animal Cruelty: Aggravated and two counts of Confinement of an Animal Without Food. He was released early Friday morning on $4,000 bond.

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William Dufresne