Thirty-one horses are now in the care of authorities following a seizure operation in San Diego County, California.
County animal control officers removed the horses, along with three llamas, four Dexter cattle, five geese, and one dog from a property in Valley Center on Saturday.
County Animal Services said it had been trying to get the owner to provide the necessary care for the animals without success.
A notice posted on the property on August 16 gave the owner the opportunity to request a hearing to contest the proposed seizure of the animals. When the owner failed to request the hearing, a search warrant was obtained to seize the animals.
“The primary issue with the majority of the livestock was a lack of hoof care,” said Animal Services deputy director Dan DeSousa.
“Although easy to remedy, prolonged lack of hoof care in livestock is a painful condition that can lead to permanent and severe damage.”
All of the animals were examined by a veterinarian specializing in large animals, and several horses were found to be very underweight. One is pregnant.
County Animal Services was joined in rescuing the animals by its volunteer County Animal Response Team, the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA and their animal rescue reserves, and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.
All of the horses are being cared for at the county’s animal care facility in Bonita. The remaining animals are at a private ranch or the County’s animal care facility in Carlsbad.