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UPDATE: Animals rescued from alleged backyard butcher

Adds 'backyard butcher' claim

Posted: April 5, 2012 4:48 p.m.
Updated: April 5, 2012 5:19 p.m.

A red Rhone horse with an injured leg walks at The Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita on Thursday. The leg was treated with an ointment, and the horse received chiropractic and veterinary care shortly after her arrival at the animal sanctuary.


Twenty-nine emaciated farm animals have been seized from a Canyon Country home in a case that officials are describing as a backyard butcher.

The lone horse, five cattle, 14 goats and nine sheep were taken from the home Tuesday after officers with Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control served a search warrant at the property, department spokeswoman Evelina Villa said.

The livestock are considered to be part of a “backyard butcher” case in which the animals were being killed and eaten, Villa confirmed.

Nine dogs, one cat and 19 fowl were also seized from the property but are in good condition.

The Gentle Barn — a rescue organization in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce that takes in animals suffering abuse or slated for slaughter — is caring for the starved horse, cattle, goats and sheep, Villa said.

The other animals were taken to the Castaic Animal Shelter, she said.

Because the case is pending, Villa declined to give the street address of the property where the animals were seized or information on the owner.

No charges against the owner had been filed by Thursday District Attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison said just before 5 p.m.

“I want the public to know that the animals are safe with the department and they will not be euthanized,” Villa said. “They will either be adopted out or sent to the same organization.”




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