Target: Hillsborough County Prosecutor’s Office
Goal: Assign the maximum jail sentence to woman who starved four miniature horses, one to death.
Pamela Belo worked as a veteran Deputy with the Hillsborough, Florida, Country Sheriff’s Office. Sworn to protect and serve the citizens of Hillsborough, Belo apparently made no such commitment to her own pets. On July 3rd, 2012, Belo surrendered four severely malnourished miniature horses to Riverview based RVR Horse Rescue. One of the horses, Warrior (pictured), was so skinny that RVR founder Shawn Jayroe described the animal as ‘a little skeleton with a head’. Warrior, weighing about half of what a healthy horse of his breed should, unfortunately passed just three days after Belo surrendered him.
The months before Warrior’s death must have been agony. His hooves were so overgrown that the he could not even stand up. This would be torture for any species, but even more so for horses who commonly suffer internal organ damage if they remain down for too long. Warrior was reported to have nudged and licked rescue workers as they tried to save the 14-year-old’s life.
The other three horses in Belo’s care included a 10-year-old stallion named Spirit, and a mother and daughter pair named Sandy and Lily. The foal, Lily, was feral from lack of human interaction. A criminal investigation revealed that all four horses had been in Belo’s care since July 2011. The three surviving animals are expected to survive and will eventually be put up for adoption.
Belo, who had been a Deputy for 23 years, was suspended without pay and later resigned from her job. She was arrested for animal cruelty and released on $2,500 bail. If convicted, Belo faces up to five years in prison. By signing this petition, you are asking that Belo be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Miniature horses, on average, cost about $10 a day to feed properly. If Belo could not have afforded that, she should have surrendered or re-homed the animals long before she did. Just as it is a Deputy’s responsibility to protect the public, it is a pet owner’s job to protect and provide proper care for their animals. Belo failed in that task, caused one of her horses to die, and risked the lives of the others. That neglect should not go unpunished.
Dear Hillsborough County Prosecutor’s Office,
If convicted, please prosecute Pamela Belo to the full extent of the law. The way she treated her four miniature horses shows a complete lack of respect for life. It’s unthinkable that this woman was expected to protect human lives, and yet she did not even provide the basic necessity of food to her own pets. The four horses under her care needlessly suffered, one of them to death.
The role of a Deputy is to protect and serve the the citizens they work for. They should be the type of people that others can look up to. Animal abuse and neglect should not be tolerated from anyone, but least of all from someone who is suppose to uphold the law. There should be no doubt that Belo knew that the way she was treating those horses was a crime. Her negligence and blatant disregard for life should not go unpunished.
[Your Name Here]