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Investigation into animals ongoing

Posted: April 10, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 10, 2012 1:55 a.m.

A chicken is among the 15 fowl from an alleged “backyard butcher” seen at the Castaic Animal Shelter on Monday.

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An investigation continued Monday into the operator of a Canyon Country ranch at which 29 emaciated farm animals were rescued Friday, officials said.

“When the county agency responsible — in this case Animal Care and Control — finishes its investigation, the investigators sit down with prosecutors and decide how to proceed,” said district attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison.

No charges have yet been filed, she said.

“Right now, there is no criminal case.”

Prosecutors are paying particular attention to reports that animals kept at Friday’s targeted facility in Canyon Country were being raised for slaughter, to be butchered and the meat sold.

“That’s the allegation that’s been made, that he’s been selling it to people,” said Evelina Villa, spokeswoman for the Department of Animal Care & Control.

The animals rescued Friday, meanwhile, are on the mend, according to their main caregiver.

At greatest risk of dying are one sick goat and a horse suffering a “huge gash” to her leg, said Jay Weiner of the Gentle Barn rescue facility, which took in the animals.

If the gash leads to amputation, the horse would have to be humanely killed.

“All the animals had high temperature fevers,” said Weiner said. “But now, they’re responding to treatment.

“It is absolutely just in time,” he said of the treatment. “It was just in time to find them and just in time to save them from slaughter.”

A number of pigeons and chickens, also rescued Friday, remain in the care of the Castaic Animal Shelter.

Anyone interested in adopting any of the birds can contact the shelter at 661-257-3191.


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