More Than 20 California Horses Seized

More than 20 Ramona, Calif., horses are under rehabilitative care after being seized from their owner in late July. The seizure comes after nearly a dozen horses were removed from the same property in May.

On July 15, officers from the San Diego County Department of Animal Services noticed that a number of horses were thin and posted a notice for the animals' owner Lori Patton explaining that the animal's would be seized if their condition did not improve. Patton protested the seizure, but a hearing officer ruled July 22 that the seizure was justified. As a result, the horses were removed from the property.

Department of Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson said that a veterinary examination revealed that all the horses were underweight and some required dental care. All are receiving rehabilitative care, she said.

“The owner was not providing the necessary care to improve the health of the horses which left us no choice but to seize her animals and take them into protective custody,” Danielson said.

She said Patton has until the end of July to reclaim the animals, pay for their veterinary and upkeep costs, and cover the cost of their impoundment.

A telephone number listed to Patton was disconnected, according to a recording attached to the number.

Danielson said July's seizure is the second by the Department of Animal Services in recent months. Previously 10 horses were taken from the same property after they were found without access to food or water, she said. Most of those animals have been adopted.

The investigation into the most recent incident is ongoing, Danielson said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More