More than 200 sick animals were found on his farm. Now he’s charged with animal cruelty

An emaciated alpaca seized in December at a rural property in Redland in South Miami-Dade.
An emaciated alpaca seized in December at a rural property in Redland in South Miami-Dade. – Miami-Dade Police

The owner of a Redland farm where more 200 emaciated farm animals were rescued by Miami-Dade County police in January was arrested Tuesday.

Dvir Derhy, faces charges including 20 counts of animal cruelty with intent to injure, 42 counts of abandoning animals without food and shelter and two counts of confining animals without food, water and exercise.

In all, four animals were euthanized, one llama died from starvation and 60 animals have required extensive medical treatment for infections, hoof rot and puncture wounds, police said.

Derhy is being held on a $436,000 bond in the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. He also faces charges of trespassing and criminal mischief in a related tenant/landlord dispute. In 2015, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail for trying to bribe a Miami fire inspector.

Police were first called to the property on the 26700 block of Southwest 182nd Avenue in late December because of a dispute between Dehry and his tenant, Earl Miller, who was also caretaker for the animals. At the time, police noticed that the animals were living in rough conditions. Many of the animals were emaciated, some with protruding bones.

In early January, police officers removed horses, donkeys, pigs, alpacas and emus — many of which could barely walk or stand — from the five-acre rural property.

No one was charged immediately because each animal had to be examined by a veterinarian, police said at the time. Some had severe hoof rot, according to the warrant. One sheep, so crippled that she couldn’t reach water, resorted to drinking other animals’ urine. Some animals’ eyes were swollen shut with conjunctivitis. Many were severely infected with parasites. The bones of decomposed animals were in several places on the property.

Animals were feeding on a single bale of hay, but the larger animals — horses and cows — bullied sheep and goats that were trying to eat, sometimes stomping on them, the warrant said.

Miller told police at the time that he had repeatedly warned Derhy that the animals needed medical attention.

The officer who showed up the first time said he “observed hundreds of domestic animals in a wooded area with a small clearing,” according to the warrant.

“No fencing or pens were present other than the perimeter fence of the property,” the officer wrote in the arrest warrant. “The animals huddled under the sole shelter, a large roof supported by poles.”

The officer went on to describe poor conditions including stagnant green water, limited food and no barriers between animal species. He said “feces and urine coated all surfaces.”

“Many animals showed clear signs of physical distress,” the officer wrote.

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Dvir Derhy Miami-Dade Corrections

When the officer questioned the owner, Dehry said “he would not pay for veterinary care when he could purchase a new animal for less money,” according to the warrant.

“He stated the vet would just tell him to put the animal down,” the officer wrote. “The subject felt it was better to leave the animal untreated.”

The next day, the officer showed up again, this time with personnel from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Within two days, 19 animals, some of which could not bear weight on at least one leg and others so emaciated they were in immediate danger of dying from starvation, were removed in order to get them medical care.

On Jan. 3, Miami-Dade Police officers and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals personnel showed up with a warrant and removed 206 animals. It took them more than 19 hours. Most of the female animals were pregnant, or had recently given birth.

Four remaining sheep were seized in February, according to the warrant.

Police say many of the animals needed daily medical care for months.

“As of March 4, 2019, multiple animals were still receiving daily medical care for the injuries they suffered while under the defendant’s care,” the officer said.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.