California Horse Herd Seized

More than 20 horses are receiving rehabilitative care after being seized from a farm operator in Nuevo, California.

John Welsh, senior public information specialist for Riverside County Animal Services, said that on March 3, law enforcement personnel responded to a call about the condition of a horse located in a Nuevo pasture. 

The investigator subsequently obtained a search warrant for the property, and on March 4, acting on a warrant, investigators discovered 23 horses in various stages of neglect.

“Most of the horses had body conditions of 2 and 3,” Welsh said. “One horse was euthanized due to its condition.”

Investigators were preparing to seize the horses when their owner, Joseph Gut Vachon, relinquished all 23 to animal control officers, Webb said, adding that another 16 horses remained on the property.

“We'll probably be back next week about the other 16,” Webb said.

Vachon was unavailable for comment.

The horses are receiving rehabilitative care at the Riverside County Animal Services shelters and Falcon Ridge Equine Rescue. The investigation continues.

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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