A jury has found a Florida veterinarian guilty of animal cruelty. As reported by multiple sources, Gail Nichols, a Lakeland veterinarian, could face up to five years in prison for her mistreatment of several miniature horses; three were in such poor condition that they had to be euthanized.
Nichols claimed that her horses were born with deformed hooves that could not be treated, but veterinarians who examined them believe that the issues could have been avoided with care. Nichols also alleged that the horses in her care were not in any pain, but one of the horses actually had bone dissolving in its leg, reports The Ledger.
In 2017, Polk County Sheriff’s deputies visited Nichols’ property after receiving a tip – a total of 28 miniature horses, two full-sized horses, eight dogs and two birds were seized from Nichols and her husband, Paul Smith.
Nichols will be sentenced on June 21 – her husband is also charged and will go to trial at a later date.
(Booking photo of Nichols/WFLA and screenshot of hooves via the Ledger)
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