One of several horses rescued from a property in Marengo Friday by the Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society (HARPS).

A horse owner and a caretaker have been arrested after two horses were found dead and five others were found ‘severely malnourished’ at a farm in Marengo.

Jose Hidalgo, 45, of Elgin, and Jonathan E. Herrera, 21, of Harvard, were both charged with two counts of cruelty to animals and two counts of violating animal owner duties.

McHenry County Animal Control officers were conducting verification of vaccination records at a dog breeding operation in Marengo on Thursday when they discovered emaciated horses on the property.

The Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society (HARPS), which is based in Barrington, was contacted by the officers and responded on Friday.

Jose Hidalgo, 45, of Elgin (left) and Jonathan E. Herrera, 21, of Harvard (right).

HARPS investigators found two dead miniature horses that appeared to be starved to death and five additional horses that were alive but severely malnourished, HARPS said.

They have been transported to the HARPS facility for treatment and are expected to recover. HARPS will continue to closely monitor the other horses on the Marengo property, which were not neglected and are owned by different renters.

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Hidalgo, who owns the horses, and Herrera, who was a caretaker for the horses, were both taken into custody. They have both been released from the McHenry County Jail after posting bail.

Anyone interested in donating to the rescued animals or adopting the horses is asked to call HARPS, which is a nonprofit group, at 847-382-0503 or by visiting their website at