Hillsborough Co. deputy charged with animal cruelty to mini horses

Last Updated: Monday, July 16, 2012, 9:06 PM EDT

A Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputy has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty to her miniature horses.

According to an arrest report, Pamela Belo, 48, has been charged with felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor animal cruelty after she allegedly let her horses become deprived and malnourished.

On July 3, Below voluntarily surrendered her four mini horses to the RVR Horse Rescue in Riverview. The horse rescue contacted the HCSO Agriculture Unit and an investigation was launched.

It was determined that between July 2011 and July 2012, Below allegedly deprived food and nourishment to two of the four horses. As a result, two of the horses suffered from malnutrition over time, making them lose a high amount of body weight.

One of the horses died. The other horse is expected to recover.

Belo surrendered at the Orient Road Jail on Monday afternoon.
 
Belo is a 23 year veteran of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and was assigned to the Community Outreach Division. Belo was suspended without pay and subsequently resigned as a deputy.