Horses left to starve to death on Santa Rosa Rancheria land

December 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Animal control officers describe horrible conditions where 10 dead horses were found on a property near Lemoore.

The animals were discovered on a 25 acre property on 16th Avenue near Jersey Avenue in Kings County. The land belongs to the Santa Rosa Rancheria.

Three horses are recovering at the Kings County Animal Shelter after animal control officers say they were found starving on a 25-acre lot, along with ten dead horses.

Norma Vanzant said, "We're horrified you know to see the conditions of these poor horses absolutely no water on the property and they were just thirsty and skinny."

They say the property where the horses were found is full of weeds three feet high. The property owner lives on the Santa Rosa Rancheria in Lemoore.

Action News drove by the location and the remains of three dead horses could still be seen from the side of the road.

The property owner has until Monday to remove the bodies of all ten horses. Animal Services Officer Norma Vanzant says some of the remains had been there for maybe a year or more.

Vanzant said, "We ended up finding 5 carcasses and 5 more remains just skeletal remains of horses that were left here."

A veterinarian who came out to check on the surviving horses gave each a body score of one -- which means the animals are in very bad condition. Kings County Animal Control says it's unusual to have three horses at one time come in with the same low body score.

Kings County investigators are looking to file charges against the person responsible for the horses.

"Right now they're on a slow diet of oat hay," Vanzant said. "Very small amounts we can't overfeed we run the risk of them dying on us so they have a long road to go, very long road we're talking months."

The Kings County Animal Shelter still needs donations to help feed the three horses.


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