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Home / Neighborhood / Riverside County / 60+ horses, 40+ dogs seized in Riverside County cruelty probe

60+ horses, 40+ dogs seized in Riverside County cruelty probe

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Following an animal cruelty and neglect investigation, more than 60 horses and over 40 dogs are in need of adoption in Riverside County, the Department of Animal Services reported Friday.

The animals are currently available for adoption by individuals or transfer to rescue organizations, Animal Services Director Erin Gettis said in a statement. Placement started Friday.

“We are at a point in this on-going investigation where we are able to reach out to residents and rescue groups that would want to help rescue or adopt and care for these animals and give them the quality of life that they deserve,” Gettis said.

The animals are now in need of adoption because if their “owner does not render reimbursement of the animals seized within 14 days, the animals are legally deemed abandoned,” officials said. In such cases, the Animal Services Department arranges for the care of the animals.

Agency spokesman Lt. James Huffman told City News Service that the horses and dogs were confiscated on March 28 at two properties run by the same person, whose identity was not disclosed. The county seized the animals following an 18-month probe that has not yet led to criminal charges or arrests in the case.

The horses available for adoption are Aztecas, quarter horse crosses and Friesian crosses ranging in age from two days old to the mid 20s, officials said. The herd consists of stallions and mares the have foals, are pregnant or are possibly pregnant.

Most of the horses are considered feral and are not halter broken, so adopters must be experienced horse owners. All of the horses need teeth floating and hoof trimming. 

“Guarantees cannot be made regarding their condition, trainability or rideability,” officials said.

The seized dogs are mostly mixed herding breeds — Australian shepherd, border collie and German shepherd that vary from adults, puppies and mothers with puppies.

The animals are housed at 581 S. Grand Ave. in San Jacinto, according to Animal Services. Dogs are available for viewing Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are required for adopting or rescuing the horses.

Potential adopters or rescuers should direct questions via email shelterinfo@rivco.org with the word “horses” in the subject line, officials said. More information is at rcdas.org/.

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