"I wasn't given really any warning. On Wednesday they left a note on my door saying that they wanted to talk to me about the horses and have a visit with me, and then on Thursday they showed up while I was at work and start seizing my horses" said Christina Villalobos, president of All About The Animals Equine Rescue. A seizure that Christina says the Butte County Animal Control had no right to make. She says officers from the agency never gave her any warning before they took 15 horses over a two day period from her non-profit All About The Animals Equine Rescue. But Butte County Animal Control representatives say that's not the case. They say they've been in contact with Christina for several months trying to help improve the overall condition of the horses. After that failed to happen, seizing the animals was their last resort. " We have worked with this owner for several months and these horses, we've received several complaints, and yes it was a justified seizure" said Director for Butte County Public Health Phyllis Murdock.
The horses were examined by a veterinarian before the seizure took place, and they're now being kept at a secure location. " The horses generally were very thin, some of them were need of medical attention and those were big concerns" Murdock explained. But Villalobos says several of her horses have chronic conditions that will never improve. She says she kept them healthy and happy, and now fears for their lives. " I'm not sure if they are still alive at this point, no one will give me any information" Villalobos said.
Animal control officials told Action News the animals are receiving proper veterinary care, but if any of the pre-existing conditions are considered too severe, decisions will have to be made. "Unfortunately they would have to be humanely euthanized, but that would be our last resort" said Murdock.
A post seizure hearing is set to be held tomorrow before a legal representative. A decision will be made on what should be done with the horses as soon as possible. Butte County Animal Control Officers are still gathering evidence they will present to the district attorney. It will be his decision whether to file criminal charges.