Horses Removed from California Breeding Farm

Marin Humane Society animal service officials have removed one stallion and three mares from a California Warmblood breeding farm in connection with an animal cruelty investigation.

Marin Humane Society Atty. Bruce Wagman said that on Dec. 27, the agency removed the stallion and one mare from the Gray Fox Farm in Petaluma. Two more mares were removed from the property on Jan 4, Wagman said. All the animals were allegedly maltreated at the time of the removal, he said.

"They were all emaciated and the stallion had been in a brutal fight with another stallion," Wagman said. "Also, there was no food or shelter for the horses on the property."

Three of the horses were taken to the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Large Animal Clinic for treatment, Wagman said; the remaining horse is under care at the Marin Humane Society. All are undergoing rehabilitative care, Wagman said.

In a written statement, Margaret Weems, attorney for Gray Fox Farm owner Jill Burnell, said that the impoundment of the horses was unwarranted.

"The Burnells' horses are all in good health within a range that unshod, winter pasture horses, mares nursing and weaning, stallions, foals, and yearlings would typically exhibit in San Francisco Bay area climate," Weems statement said. "That fact has been confirmed now by two veterinarians and two farriers, all of whom are well respected locally for their experience and expertise."

Meanwhile, Wagman said that the investigation into the case continues. No charges have been filed, he 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