WATCH: Neglected Horse Rescued By Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Finds New Home at Romelia Farms
By Space Coast Daily // October 25, 2021
ABOVE VIDEO: Romelia Farms introduces their latest addition to their barnyard family, Spring, a horse rescued from neglect by Brevard County Sheriffs Office.
BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Romelia Farms introduced their latest addition to their barnyard family, Spring, a neglected horse rescued in 2019 by Brevard County Sheriffs Office.
The backstory for Spring is something like out of a movie. The horse was rescued in 2019 after the Sheriff’s Office was alerted by a citizen who was concerned for the welfare of the horses at Horse Sisters Rescue.
The Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Unit responded to the rescue located in Mims where they found three horses on the property who were extremely emaciated, with one being unable to stand.
The owner and suspect of Horse Sisters Rescue, Clairese Marie Austin, admitted to not caring for the horses, stating that she had not sought veterinarian care for the horses because she could not afford it.
Austin was charged with three counts of Animal Cruelty. She was transported to the Brevard County Jail where she is being held on $6,000. bond.
Unfortunately, one of the horses was in such bad shape that it had to be humanely euthanized at the scene.
The two remaining horses, including ‘Spring’, were transported from the property by trailer to the Brevard County Animal Care Center where they were examined and taken care of by the BCSO team.
It was determined that the horses were suffering from extreme starvation due to neglect as the examining veterinarian advised this was the worst case of starvation that she had ever encountered.
After hearing about the story, the new owners of Romelia Farms Wildlife Sanctuary, formerly known as the Obloy Family Ranch, jumped into action and will be the new loving home for Spring who looks well-nourished today after almost suffering a tragic ending two years ago.
Recently, Romelia Farms owners Jeremy and Lina Graves compared their purchase of the Obloy Family Ranch to the 2011 film ‘We Bought A Zoo’ featuring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.
While there may not be lions, tigers, or bears like the award-winning movie, the Graves family hopes to take the historic property in Merritt Island to new heights and new experiences.
The property dates back to the 1890s when it operated as a navel orange grove and later transitioned to become one of Florida’s first gator ranches.
In 2015, the Obloy family purchased the ranch and helped transform the property into a wildlife sanctuary and farm, adding horseback riding trails, restoring and restocking freshwater ponds for fishing, building and stocking the general store and outdoor party hub.
Along with the petting zoo, wildlife sanctuary and horseback riding, it also offers accommodations in private cabins, as well as a 3,000 square foot barn, which now serves as the Barn Stall Winery & Wedding Barn.
Romelia Farms Wildlife Sanctuary is located at 165 Gator Drive in Merritt Island.
The Graves family would also like to give a special shoutout to Kate Flack with eXp Realty, along with the assistance of Annie Cortes, who helped them with their purchase and helped make their dream become a reality.
MAP: Romelia Farms Wildlife Sanctuary is located at 165 Gator Drive in Merritt Island.