Phoenix man arrested after horses found neglected

Horse abuse

Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

A mare with a broken ankle had to be euthanized.


by Jennifer Thomas

Posted on July 12, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 12 at 4:14 PM

PHOENIX -- Detectives with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office arrested a 33-year-old man for animal cruelty Wednesday after a month-long investigation.

On June 8, MCSO received a tip regarding two severely underweight and neglected horses. Animal Crimes detectives responded to the property in the 6000 block of West Broadway Road and found a full-grown mare and its colt that were extremely thin and malnourished.

The mare had a broken ankle and a veterinarian on scene determined the horse needed to be euthanized to prevent further suffering.

Jesse Noriega told detectives that he has owned the mare for two years and admitted that he was the sole person responsible for the care of the horses.

Noriega surrendered ownership of the colt to the sheriff's MASH Unit and it is being cared for by inmates. Anyone interested in adopting the colt can contact MCSO at 602-290-0930 or 602-526-4594.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said over the past two weeks, detectives have seized nine horses, four of which had to be euthanized. Two people have been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.

Arpaio's MASH Unit is currently housing 14 horses.

For more information on adopting a horse or other animal from the MASH Unit, visit