A 62-year-old Ocala man was found guilty of three counts of animal cruelty last week following a months-long investigation and jury trial.
Terrence Andre Crowder was initially arrested on August 20, 2022, a month after a Marion County Animal Services investigator and Marion County Sheriff’s Office corporal responded to his home to conduct a follow-up inspection for an open animal cruelty investigation.
According to Animal Services, Crowder had been previously ordered to provide veterinary care for an injured goat and multiple horses that were found to be underweight.
During the follow-up visit to Crowder’s home in July of 2022, investigators discovered that he had not complied with the mandated care, and evidence was collected that suggested the animals were “suffering from neglect and being cruelly treated,” according to Animal Services.
Investigators confiscated a total of five horses and eight goats from Crowder’s property, and the animals required immediate veterinary care.
In August of 2022, Animal Services staff and a local veterinarian appeared in court to seek custody of the animals that were removed from Crowder’s home. The judge granted custody of the seized livestock to Animal Services.
Earlier this month, Crowder appeared in court to face one count of aggravated animal cruelty and two counts of cruelty to animals. The jury assigned to the case ultimately found Crowder guilty on all charges, and he was transported to Marion County Jail at the conclusion of the trial, where he is currently being held without bond.
Crowder will be required to register on Marion County’s Animal Abuser Registry, which is also known as Molly’s Law.
“Cases like this happen in Marion County more often than we like to think. Thankfully, all 13 animals confiscated during this case were rehabilitated and placed in homes where they can peacefully live out the rest of their lives with love and affection,” stated Animal Services in a media release.
“We encourage all citizens to remain vigilant and continue to report potential violations of animal cruelty so animal abusers like Crowder continue to be put behind bars,” added Animal Services.
To report concerns to Animal Control, call 352-671-8727. If it is an emergency or after hours, contact the Marion County Sheriff’s Office at 352-732-9111.