Riverside County

Dozens of Horses Seized from Ranch After Suspicion of Animal Abuse

A Riverside County man is likely facing dozens of felony animal abuse charges after animal control seized dozens of horses that are in "bad shape" from his property on Friday.

Investigators received a tip that the 40 horses — some of them expensive thoroughbreds — at the Nuevo ranch were not looking healthy, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

Officers served a search warrant and seized up to 24 horses after discovering they looked underweight and had hoof problems.

"Their feet are in terrible condition. The physical nature of the facility is terrible," said veterinarian Allen Drusys. "There are mounds of horse manure everywhere, which is not conducive to good health."

One horse was discovered thrashing on the ground, suffering from colic. It had to be euthanized on the spot.

The owner, Joseph Guivachon, said that his horses are not in bad shape, and that they just needed to be fed more.

Guivachon said he has been raising horses for decades.

The horses that were taken away will be cared for by various local rescue groups, investigators said.

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