Animal control officers are considering whether to suggest criminal charges after about 40 retired racehorses were removed from a Southern California sanctuary that is accused of neglecting and starving the animals.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports Monday that many of the horses taken from the California Equine Retirement Foundation were so skinny that their ribs were protruding.
The operator acknowledges some horses need to be fattened up, but denies any are critically underweight. Foundatoin CEO Carrie Ard tells the newspaper that that the weight loss was partly a result of an exceptionally rainy winter that curbed horses' appetites and damaged their feed. She also says some aging horses have problems maintaining weight.
Officials say they removed about 40 of nearly 70 horses that lived at the property in San Jacinto.