MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WWLP) – Three men from Springfield are facing multiple charges of animal cruelty after reports that they were neglecting horses in Middletown.

Residents started raising concerns in February to the Middletown Animal Control about four horses and a pony that didn’t have enough food or supplies. The people responsible for the animals were identified as out of state residents that did not have affiliation with the property. Animal Control officers said the group initially complied with care instructions but were being monitored for the wellbeing of the animals.

On Wednesday, Animal Control received a call claiming that no one had been on the property for several days to care for the animals and the horses and pony were outside since Sunday. An Animal Control officer confirmed that the animals were left outside and had no food or water.

Officers found the animals in poor condition and undernourished. No food was found on the property and the barn was unsanitary. Animal Control Officers and a resident of the property provided water for the animals and cleaned the stalls. Hay that was donated to the Animal Control by several community members was given to the animals.

On Friday, officers returned and found no one had been to the property yet to care for the animals. While they were on the property, three men arrived that said they were responsible for the animals. The three men from Springfield were arrested and each have been charged five counts of animal cruelty.

The three men have been identified as 25-year-old Ricardo Javier Castellano of Springfield, 19-year-old Erik Hernandez of Springfield and 20-year-old Luis Xavier Ortiz-Santiago of Springfield. All three men were released on a $25,000 non-surety bond and are scheduled to appear in Middletown Superior Court on May 12.

The horses are being cared for by police, animal control, and local residents.