A 65-year-old Florida woman has been arrested on charges of animal cruelty after eight starving animals, including five horses and the dead body of a sixth, were found in her care.

Migdalia Ameller was arrested earlier this week on charges of animal cruelty, confinement of animals, and illegal disposal of dead animal bodies.

A police officer on routine patrol found the horses, along with two cows and an emu, severely malnourished with bones protruding through their skin.

As well as the deceased horse, police also discovered the body of a decaying cow covered in a tarpaulin. There was little food in sight – only three pounds of grain and no hay sign of hay.

A police report read: “A check of the property revealed illegal structures, deplorable conditions, [and] decaying animals. The horses were all emaciated with rib bones, spinal columns [and] hip bones all showing.”

The animals were seized by police and taken to the South Florida SPCA, where they are receiving veterinary treatment.