The McArthur Dairy workers arrested on charges of animal cruelty all live in Okeechobee and were seen on the video committing abuse, the sheriff said. Mario Hernandez, 31, an assistant supervisor, was arrested on a third-degree felony charge of animal cruelty. Authorities said he struck a cow in the face with a sharpened PVC pipe. Fernando Lopez, 45, a caretaker, and Naul Dorantes-Garcia, 36, both face first-degree misdemeanor charges of cruelty to animals. They are accused of hitting cows in the udders with a blunt PVC pipe.
Stephen said he met with Animal Recovery Mission investigators on Dec. 5 after they agreed to give the department time to investigate before releasing the McArthur video. In addition to the McArthur, Larson and Burnham dairies, the subject of ARM surveillance videos, a fourth dairy, Davie Dairy, is under investigation, Stephen said.
The Sheriff’s Office has hundreds of hours of video to view in the ongoing investigation into alleged abuse at the four dairies, he said. “The way these videos were recorded are very problematic and make it an issue for us to investigate,” he said.