Animal control officers could suggest criminal charges against the California Equine Retirement Foundation (CERF), after the removal of about 40 retired racehorses from the sanctuary, according to multiple media reports.
Officials say the California Equine Retirement Foundation (CERF) 38 retired racehorses were recently removed from the sanctuary's care. Carrie Ard, CEO of the San Jacinto-based organization, said that her ranch has provided plenty of feed and hay to the horses in its care. She denies that any are neglected, saying that some of the horses were thin because of the vast amount of rainfall, shipments of bad hay and the age of some of the horses—older horses can be more difficult to put weight on for a variety of reasons.
The 38 horses were moved to the United Pegasus Foundation ranch, which is operated by UPF President Helen Meredith. Meredith received permission to remove the horses, which she says ranged in condition from fair to critical. Three other horses went to Premier Equine Rehab, which is operated by Jenny Earhart, who lives in Orange.
CERF lost its nonprofit status in 2017. Grace Belcuore, the founder of CERF, was removed from the board and replaced by Ard in 2014.
An animal control officer estimated that most of the 67 horses at CERF were at a 3 (thin) or a 4 (moderately thin) on the Henneke Body Condition Scoring System, while a score of a 5 is ideal. A few horses were as low as a 1 or a 2, meaning that they had bones that protruded prominently. The officer noted that none of the horses was in danger of dying, but they needed weight.
Some of the owners of the horses housed at the California Equine Retirement Foundation declined to move their horses and said they were in fine shape.
Read more at The Press-Enterprise.
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