82 starving horses discovered
Seville, CA Tulare County
August 8, 2006
Tulare County Animal Control has started delivering hay to feed more than 80 horses found starting on a farm south of Seville. The horses are skinny and many of them are scarred up. Many of the horses were found in a small area fighting for food. The area where these horses were kept had been a grape orchard where the horses apparently had eaten most of the plants and weeds that they could find. Authorities may file an animal abuse case against the owner of the horses.
(Photo courtesy of KFSN) Approximately 25 other horses, including some foals 3-6 months old, were confined in a makeshift pen and survived on little food. The owner of the horses told Animal Control Officers that she fed a ‘flake’ of hay a day – a single bale of hay has about 14 flakes – which was divided between 25 horses. A veterinarian who inspected the animals told Animal Control Officers that a healthy diet for a horse would be two flakes a day or each horse.
On Thursday, August 10th, Animal Control Officers arranged for delivery of more than 75 bales of hay to the farm in the 36000 block of Road 156. About the same amount will have to be delivered daily to provide a healthy diet for the 82 horses, many of which were so thin that their rib and hipbones were protruding under their flesh.
That same day, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Deputies received a call from a Friant Water District employee working along an irrigation canal that runs along part of the 20-acre property, reporting that he saw two dead horses and others that appeared to be in poor health. It is believed that one of the horses had died at least a month ago while the other died about a week ago. He stated the woman who owns the animals had pulled them out of the pen with the other horses and they were left off the canal road after they died.
As of 8/10/06 authorities have not disclosed
the name of the horses’ owner because she has not been arrested or charged.
Besides finding the horses on the farm, authorities also found a cow, 31 dogs, four goats, two sheep and a pen full of lovebirds. They also found the remains of a dead goat and dog.
A Sheriff’s report states that the cow had a growth on its side, but that except for the horses the other animals appeared to be reasonably cared for, tough the dogs were crowded in kennels.
Efforts to contact the owner of the farm were unsuccessful. Except for the horses, Animal Control has no concerns about the care of the birds and livestock, but the woman has been given an order to get rid of most of her dogs as a county ordinance allows individuals to own just four.
The horses were not removed from the property in part because the owner has not yet been charged with a crime. There is also adequate food for at least a few days, as long as the horses get the food that is being provided. The animals are also getting veterinary care, something that appears to have been denied for a long time. One of the foals appeared to need extensive medical care. There were a lot of young foals on the property – several of them very skinny and very neglected. One was so skinny it was barely able to get up and walk.
Update August 19, 2006:
Update August 25, 2006:
has paperwork from
Mendes has stated that he does not have plans to sell the horses to slaughter but rather sell them to breeders or riding schools.
Update November 23, 2006:
Update December 28, 2006: