Horses Seized in California Ready for New Homes

Ten horses seized in a California abuse case have been released to go to new homes now that their former owner pleaded no contest to the charges against her.

"We will either auction the horses or sell them to a third party who already has some of the other horses involved in this case," said Lt. Steve Knight of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. "Right now, we're weighing the options."

The horses were released on Wednesday when Elsie Smith pleaded no contest to one count of animal neglect. Under a plea agreement, Smith avoided jail time, but was sentenced to three years probation. She cannot own horses during that time. Smith was also ordered to pay for the horses' care since their seizure.

Humboldt County authorities seized a total of 40 horses from Smith's property on April 1. Of those 24 were sold at auction, three were returned to a former owner, two were euthanized, and one was sold to a private party.

For more on this case see Horses Removed from California Ranch 'Thriving'.

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.

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