The 19 neglected horses the county seized from a Ramona property July 22 are heading to new homes.
“We were able to adopt out every single horse,” said Harold Holmes, deputy director of County Animal Services, North County Region.
Animal Services removed the horses from a property on Old Julian Highway after an administrative hearing officer issued an order to seize the animals for their own safety. The horses were said to be either underweight, needing dental work, or suffering from hoof problems, and were nursed back to health by Animal Services staff.
Animal Services conducted a silent bid for the horses Saturday, Aug. 24, that started at 10 a.m. and closed at noon. The minimum bid was $100. Interested adopters were able to see the horses two days earlier at the department’s animal care center in Bonita.
Holmes said Animal Services was surprised to have over 40 bidders.
“So the bidding was rather competitive,” he said.
A yearling Friesian fetched over $5,000, he added.
All bidders were pre-screened and background checks were performed so the county could be assured the horses were going to good homes, said Holmes.
The horses will go to 16 homes with some pairs of mares and foals going together to new owners, said the county.
Lt. Dan DeSousa with Animal Services said two of the horses were adopted by persons in the Ramona area, and one was adopted by someone as far away as Des Moines, Iowa, who had a representative doing the bidding.
Of the animals seized, one mare and two foals are not ready yet for adoption and will be sent this week to a rescue group to continue their rehabilitation, said the county.
An investigation into the animals’ previous owner, Lori Patton, is ongoing, the county reported.