Animal Control impounds 10 horses from SR-78 property in Ramona

By Karen Brainard

San Diego County of Animal Services seized 10 horses, including two foals, Thursday afternoon from property on State Route 78 east of town, where firefighters found nearly 30 horses running loose Monday.

Animal control officers work on gathering horses to load them into trailers and transport them off the Route 78 property. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

The owner of the horses is no stranger to the county’s Department of Animal Services, according to its deputy director.

“We’ve been dealing with this woman since 2007,” said Deputy Director Dan DeSousa, who identified the horses’ owner as Lori Patton. On a website Patton says she breeds and sells Friesian sport horses.

Each of the seized horses were taken to an animal services facility and will be evaluated and checked by a veterinarian, said Harold Holmes, deputy director of the North County region of Animal Services.

“None of the animals is currently in danger to our knowledge,” he said, adding that he could not go into details because of potential for a criminal case.

A horse stands as animal control officers try to gather other horses. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

According to Holmes, Patton disclosed that a horse died recently and she had a service remove it. Department of Animal Services said it is investigating the death.

Intermountain Fire & Rescue Department Chief Jeremy Christofferson discovered the horses on Monday afternoon, May 20, when he saw two horses running on Route  78 as he was heading to the station. He called for help, and when  firefighters arrived they found more horses roaming the property that is west of Old Julian Highway.

In all, they found about 30 horses, most of them out of the corrals. The fire chief said the horses had no food or water, were “bone-dry,” and it appeared they had knocked down the sides of their corrals to get out.

California Highway Patrol officers arrived, and Officer Joe Nielsen said when he checked the house on the property he found it was cleared out.

A woman, who declined to give her name, called the Sentinel on Wednesday and said she had not abandoned the horses but was renting the property and was in the process of moving to Arizona. She said the horses had automatic waterers, and she was feeding them twice a day and would be moving them.

The property management company for that location said it had given notice to the renter to vacate.

Holmes said animal control posted a notice on the property Monday that the owner had two days to comply with proper care for the horses.

An animal control officer watches as some of the horses eat in the corral. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

According to DeSousa, when animal control officers went to the site on Tuesday, they found  nine of the horses had been removed and there were about 25 bales of alfalfa. He described the horses’ flesh as adequate to moderate and said some of the horses had slight ribbing.

“The horses do have issues with their hooves,” he added.

DeSousa said the department gets about one complaint a year regarding Patton and lack of care for her horses, but every time officials have met with her, she eventually complies.

“The care has not been so egregious, so lacking for us to seize,” he said.

According to Holmes, animal  control went back to the property on Thursday to check on the welfare of the horses and there were 10 left.

“She had already moved the rest of the horses to a new location,” noted Holmes.

Based on what they saw, animal control officers felt the horses should be impounded, he said.

“Not all issues had been sufficiently resolved,” he said.

While there, Patton arrived and officers gave her notice of the impoundment, said Holmes.

Holmes said on Friday that an animal control officer met with Patton at another location in Ramona where she had moved the other horses, but the officer had  not seen anything of an egregious nature to justify a seizure.

To make sure the horses are cared for properly, Holmes said, “We will be working very closely with Ms. Patton, very frequently.”

Related posts:

  1. Woman says horses not abandoned
  2. Sheriff’s team recovers stolen property, arrests four
  3. Creek Hollow Ranch in Ramona serves as evacuation site for large animals threatened by fires
  4. ‘Raise the Woof’ comedy act to benefit Hearts & Hands Animal Rescue
  5. Struggling to feed growing numbers of horses

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Posted by Staff on May 24 2013. Filed under Backcountry, Country Living, Featured Story, News, Ramona. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

9 Comments for “Animal Control impounds 10 horses from SR-78 property in Ramona”

  1. Guest

    What happened to "We are in the process of moving to Arizona"

  2. Nina

    Why does a horse need to die before animal control investigates?? Read in another article that neighbors have been complaining and other complaints received since 2007- but nothing??! The poor thirsty, hungry horse had to break free and then someone notices but puts them back into that fat slob’s care??! What is wrong with this scenario??!!

  3. Horse Lover

    Not a bit surprised to hear the name with this story. I looked at one of her half Friesian babies a few years ago, and was disgusted by their environment. These horses actually have quality breeding with a FHANA Friesian. She is like a puppy mill though and doesn't remotely have the means to care for them and the horses are untrained. Should make for great horses for someone who can adopt them and be dedicated to their care and training. WHY would they go two days without going back to the house if the horses didn't have food and water on that day?!!! Frustrated with animal control. Good job to that officer who was alert and discovered the problem.

    • No BYB's

      Just because someone is using a "FHANA Friesian" as a stallion does NOT mean these are are quality horses. That's like saying a mutt puppy has a great pedigree because the sire is registered AKC. I've seen some crap FHANA Friesians, that's for sure. And don't forget, the mare is 50% of the equation in any breeding (some people say she's more). Even a gorgeous stallion can't make up for an ugly, grade mare. This person is nothing more than a backyard breeder who is likely helping the slaughter industry more than she is equine sport.

      • Horse Lover

        That is completely true that any FHANA Friesian breeding doesn't necessarily mean they are quality. But I was not speaking of random Friesian crosses. I was speaking about these specifically. She has produced nice foals. Though she certainly does not deserve to have any horse. It's interesting, though, how you pulled out that small comment from the rest of what was written and railed on it like you had something to prove.

  4. Red Flags Here

    Why is it that, when you make a complaint about a neglectful horse owner, as long as there are stacks of hay, they can do absolutely nothing??!! This woman has a friend who has had animal control called on her, but oh a barn full of hay and she's off the hook. If the horses aren't getting fed, the hay is just as good as not there!

  5. huge red flags

    I am very familiar with this women. I have personally called animal control several times on her in 2009 and nothing was done then. I had her herd of 25 horses running wild including her stallion for days with no water until I recognized that they were out. She free breeds those mares right after they foal. She also had a puppy mill at the time. Shame on animal control for not dealing with her before. I know of several people that have made complaints and I can tell you this, there was reason to take her horses before. She had a horse get stuck in a rock on her property in a acre fenced area and called the Sheriffs saying she couldnt find it and she thought it was stolen. It was in foal and the mare died in those rocks. She had a colt break a leg and didnt call a vet until animal control came out. Another mare had the placenta hanging out of her for 48 hrs and it wouldnt deliver, What happened to that mare? The people that now live on that property found young horse bones in the creek bed that the coyotes dug up. What is wrong with this picture.

  6. Mr. Ramona

    Burn it down!!!

  7. Outraged

    Word is, Animal Control has given this wo..person some of the horses they seized from her back! What is Wrong with our system? Is it OK that she left thousands of dollars in damage to the poor unsuspecting homeowner who rented her the last “house of horrors” where she keeps these animals and, yes her young children? I’m appalled, and Sick and Tired of paying the high cost of taxes to pay for welfare checks so she can hoard and abuse these animals…God help the new landlords on Old Julian Hwy, start saving your money, this will be the new House of Horrors in a few months time…I sure hope the local feed stores are aware of who she is and have enough common decency and honor to refuse her business…the Sherrifs need to step up and conduct a 5150 check on this nut job, we don’t want her roaming the streets of Ramona, she’s unpredictable and dangerous…just shameful this is allowed to continue

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