Neglected animal case turns to pot bust in Merced Co.

FRESNO, Calif.

Deputies went to the home on Santa Fe near Shaffer Thursday morning to serve a search warrant for a case of suspected animal abuse. They say they found several horses and dogs that appeared to be under-fed. They also discovered more than 300 pounds of cut marijuana, along with several plants growing on the property.

Animal control officers are still investigating this case, but they say horse neglect has become an increasingly common problem.

"I think our department has probably seized about 40 horses this year alone," said Cerissa Hultgen, "certainly money is always a cause and effect. Hay right now is about 20-dollars a bail."

Deputies say the pot they found is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

They've detained several people for questioning.

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