Five horses die of thirst
by TP staff
Jul 15, 2010 | 10594 views | 47 47 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An investigator on Thursday, July 15, looks over two of the five horses that may have died from thirst and were found in a field. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating five dead horses that may have died of thirst in a field off Interstate 580.

Calls came in around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 15, reporting dead horses that were visible in the field off the westbound lanes of I-580 near Mountain House Road. Deputies and animal control officers went to the scene, where they found five dead horses lying in a field. Two other white horse were found alive but severely dehydrated. One of the horses was given an IV at the scene.

There was little if any shade from the sun in the field, and a nearby water trough was empty. Deputies believe the horses were without water for three to four days. It is thought that the horses died of thirst in the summer heat that touched 101 degrees in the Tracy area.

A horse rescue operation out of Oakdale was going to take the two surviving horses while an investigation is under way concerning the death of the five horses. It is not known who owns the horses that died in the field.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to contact the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office at (209) 468-4400.

Authorities reported shortly before 4:30 pm that the property owner has been located and is currently being interviewed by investigators.

Comments
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favabeans
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July 26, 2010
MySay, The County Sherrifs you wrote about is the same group of County Sherrifs that patrol Mountain House. It happens to be on the same road as Mountain House development. Not even a mile away. It is the same field that is planned development for the road that will go toward Mountain House's Delta College. They should probably get their act together.
MySay
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July 26, 2010
@"I'm not a complainer".

It's not the Tracy Press' job/position to jump down the throat of anyone. They have no "pull" or interest in this other then a story.

Here's just a little bit of information about this area. This is in the County are of Tracy where the horses were. So, it is under the jurisdiction of San Joaquin County. Sure, it's still called Tracy, but it's outside City limits. Also, it's NEAR Mtn House, but it is not in Mtn House. Regardless, it's the County area. So, I don't know why Tracy OR Mtn House would have anything to do with "adequate" shelter "out there". This is private property we're talking about.

But, your only going to see someone out there from animal services, ONLY IF someone had reported it. And, maybe even the Sheriff's Dept. Then what if it was never followed up on? In which case, I find completely disturbing. I mean you can have 3-5 Sheriff Deputy's show up at a house to "escort" a County inspector for an "anonymous" complaint made at a house for Code violations. Yet, no one is able to make a welfare check on an animal? IF there was a complaint made.

Also, this being in the County area, should a 911 call be made, if would be routed, if by cell phone, from CHP dispatchers. Depending on the "emergency" it would be decided to be handled by CHP if it is a "road" issue. If not, then its routed to the Sheriff's Office. An average response time is approx 20 minutes! Now, being's I've never had some emergency that required them there before someone killed me or my family So, its "possible" to be there sooner. But, that usually never is the case. I've never seen them just out here faster. With exception, to a car who just happens to be in the area. Which is rarely the case. Because, one deputy can patrol an area that spreads the whole County area. And, usually there is only a few cars per given shift to cover the whole area. So, that is how it's pretty much run out here.

So, since this is an animal issue, animal control should be notified of any complaints or concerns before the police. They are out by the old sugar factory. What usually would take approx 15 mins to travel from the animal shelter to the location where the horses were at, if the officer actually drove the "short route" and left immedietely. But, there are very few animal officers to handle the calls, times are long. We've had experiences with them. And, from our experience, there has only been 2 officers come out to the area, one being the supervisor. They do not answer the phone after 4PM nor on the weekends. And, sometimes during the week during certain hours because they are short staffed. Regardless, this doesn't fall onto any of those Agencies. This is on the owner of those horses.

Either way, someone should have done something BEFORE these poor horses went through what they did. I find it hard to believe that the owner could not have known this simple need. Nor that it was just forgotten, etc. This is CRIMINAL!! There are no two ways about it! I'm really trying hard not to make assumptions, but I cannot come up with anything else that doesn't point to being criminal. Truly sad.
ImNotAComplainer
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July 23, 2010
I'm just shocked that the Tracy Press isn't jumping down the troats of Mountain House city officials for not having an adequate animal shelter (out there) to prevent this atrocity. If this had happened in Tracy, CA...
MySay
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July 23, 2010
I am still sick over this and this is now the 23rd. It's taken me all this time to calm down enough to be able to voice my thoughts on this atrocity.

I am SOOOO DIGUSTED and ANGRY that this happened to those horses! I live in the area and since my commute is not past where they were found, I didn't see them fall ill then die. I wish I HAD seen them prior, I would have been all over it. These poor horses just didn't fall over and die. They SUFFERED, ENORMOUSLY suffered! I want to know WHY the owner did not take care of them? Why there wasn't at least water for them regardless of some "oh, the economy's bad and I couldn't keep up" lame excuse BS. Not that the owner actually said that from what I know of, but I can hear that being said as an excuse. But, seriously, its WATER! Thats is NOT too hard to deal with regardless of the economy/food issues if that was it.

The other thing is, should the owner have had such problems that would prevent them from going out to the troth, etc. Wouldn't you think that they would ASK someone else to do so? And, you can't tell me if you have horses grazing on that much land, that there is no one that could come out there and take care of them if the owner couldn't. Horses aren't cheap. I live on acreage and though I don't own them, I have neighbors that do. And, you KNOW, you SEE, when a horse is ill. Someone should have done something before they died. The owner has enough money to have the property and multiple horses. Then, there shouldn't have been ANY PROBLEM for them to take care of the horses. Period!

I really do not want to judge the owner, I don't want to assume things. But, this should have been prevented. I just cannot fathom any other reason for this happening then such.

Those horses were helpless to their situation. we as people cannot allow such things to happen to the helpless. whether it's animals or humans. I urge... no BEG people to think about others in the hot and cold months at the very least, just think about how hot and dehydrated you may feel in a day, and then think that there is someone out there that IS and they have no one. And, then look in on them. And, if you own a horse or other pets, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure they're kept cool and have plenty of shade and plenty of water!

If you cannot take care of your pet(s) anymore, don't allow this type of thing to happen to them. Give them to someone else. Let them have a chance at life. Do not let your ego or pride get in the way of asking for help. We as a society cannot allow such things to happen like this. we just can't.
HawkEyes2see
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July 21, 2010
mrsm-c,

Next time just FYI. I think Mountain House Road is the jurisdiction of the San Joaquin County Sherrif.
mrsm-c
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July 20, 2010
I have often driven by this area and wondered about these horses ... I called TPD one time and gave a concern about them. It makes me sick to think people can just throw animals away ... this is heart breaking, I hope they hold their owners accountable.
Hues0ECD
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July 18, 2010
Isn't this where they were going to put the road to San Joaquin Delta College out there in Mountain House, CA?
IronSuppliments
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July 17, 2010
I guess not much else happens out there in Mountain House, CA? What's really sad is they have TWO aqua-ducts that flow right through Mountain House, Ca. Right there on that Mountain House Road.

If I had to guess. I'd say those horses were less than a mile from all millions of gallons of water flowing in BOTH the Delta Mendota Canal and Calafornia Aqueduct.
horselvr
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July 17, 2010
@hotrodder: obviously you are one of those oozing with common sense in our community and clearly have no compassion for anything, including your gran torino, or trans am or whatever it was you said. oh, and thank you for the clarification on the weight of the horses....my "pitbull" and I have never seen a horse close up (ha) so I was obviously off on my estimate! Now go have another shot of whatever it was you were drinking!
ConcernedNeighbor
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July 17, 2010
"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being". -- Abraham Lincoln.

"It is man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him truly a man". -- Albert Schweitzer.

I'd like to think that "Compassion" is what defines us as humans.

Have a great weekend.

CN
ConcernedNeighbor
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July 17, 2010
Not sure if he, HotRodder, is serious, but I get the impression he is mad at the owners for not "painting" the horses? :o)

If they were wild horses, that is most regrettable, ....if the owner owns those horses they became domesticated, fully dependent on the owners for their well being in food, water, shelter, shades, veterinarian care, and protection from what could harm them. (unfenced area that leads to highways)

Those two white horses probably survived because their color reflects the sun, while other darker horses absorbs and retains heat...

I do hope the owners of the horses feels terrible about it. I hope the two white horses will find a great home who has most understanding of animals needs and PROVIDE them.

A tractor does not have a beating heart, a horse does.

CN

usn-cmc
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July 17, 2010
IS HotRodder serious with his/her insane comments comparing these horses dying to a tractor left out in the rain, or just "jerking everyone's chain". I was raised on a farm in the Midwest that's still in our family after 5 generations and we VALUE our livestock (note the beginning of that word was LIVE). This total disregard for the lives of these horses is criminal.

Horses were once considered PARTNERS to those who settled the West and when a TRUE cowboy had to put down a horse because of injury or illness, it was as if it were a "brother" had died. (Don't believe me, read your history books.) The owners of these horses should be held accountable for the misery they caused these horses AND for the misery they've caused everyone who's read about this horrible tragedy. How about putting them out in that same field without food or water for 3-4 days in this searing heat we're having and see how long they last? Nothing like an "eye for an eye" to wake someone up!
HotRodder
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July 17, 2010
Suricatta,

That is absolutely right. This is about morality. The other travesty in this story is that the animal control officers are prohibited from putting these carcasses to beneficial use. Bizarre, left-wing voter enacted propositions such as Prop 6 and Prop 2, that run directly counter to the admonition contained in Proverbs 12:27, will ensure that these carcasses end up as candles or tallow, instead being put to better use.
Suricatta
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July 17, 2010
I have read the response to the allegation from those who knew the owner of the horses stating that someone mysteriously closed the gate that allowed access to the watering trough, and it just doesn't cut it. You have animals, you have the info. available via newscasts, periodicals, and self observation that the weather is getting warmer, yet there is no mention that the animals have been provided adequate shelter or monitoring for such conditions, The animals have 24/7 care, so how is it they are grazing in an area that obviously does not provide enough feed, and should be supplemented with additional feed for nutritional value on a daily basis, that obviously provides that they are are monitored. If there are two separated grazing areas, then why was this not monitored,? Allowing any animal to waste away from neglect is negligence pure and simple. There is no valid excuse. If you have animals, you are morally responsible to ensure their welfare. If you cannot do so, then surrender them to those who can provide this, or just don't keep them.
HotRodder
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July 17, 2010
Horslvr, those are excellent points about leaving your kids or your old people in the car in this kind of weather.

The telephoto lens in these pictures makes the animal control officers look short and fat. No doubt this is just an "optical illusion." Assuming that the officers are not "little people," (sometimes called "dwarfs" or "midgets) but instead assuming that they are "normally" sized people, and comparing their girths in size to the horse carcasses and the standing horses, I would estimate that these horses weigh(ed) between 600 and 800 lbs.

Hope that helps.

Course, once you city folk come out here with your fancy cars and your "family friendly" pit bulls that share all those Zwieback toasts and Gerbers with your little babies, you can start lecturing all us dumb okies and hicks on our animals' rights. Thanks for that, much appreciated.
dabston
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July 16, 2010
"those horses were loved and well taken care of and were checked on regularly, contrary to the article they DID have access to water 24.7" Apparently not. You want to stick up for the sociopaths that did this, go right ahead. But don't expect anyone to believe your lies.

And speaking of sociopaths - drop dead, HotRodder.
HotRodder
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July 16, 2010
Not sure what the big deal is here? These people had some valuable property, they failed to take care of it, and they lost it as a result. Sort of like that scene in "Walk the Line," when Johnny Cash left his tractor out in the weather and it suffered damage. I learned the same lesson the hard way, back in the days before clear coat, I left a lacquered black Gran Torino out in the Tracy sun for a whole summer, and the sun ruined the paint. It cost me over a thousand bucks to repaint it, and that was back when a thousand bucks meant something. Anyway, so why are all these random strangers complaining? Who cares what the real story is. Maybe the owners just shot the horses cause they didn't feel like paying their water bill? That's their right, isn't it? Big deal. Next thing all these tree huggers will be whining about all the meanies that turn off the water and let their poor grass die in the hot sun.
horselvr
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July 16, 2010
And just one more reminder to all those folks just oozing with common sense; don't leave your child, your pet or an elderly person in a hot car or other situation that is preventable. We don't need to read about anymore tragedies. I know it's difficult for some of you out there to use that round thing sitting on your shoulders, but, if you try really hard, you can do it!
Mindy81
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July 16, 2010
The neglect alone is sickening. I will not comment what I think of the individuals who let these beautiful animals slip away, but out of something bad, there is always something good in return.

If anything at all we can all be reminded that animals depend on us. We have them as "pets", and they should be treated like family. We are all fragile, 1200 lbs to infant. Those horses should have been checked on the first day it reached 100 degrees. We as humans couldn't sit out in the blaring sun in 100 degree weather without water in the fist couple minutes. This truly disgusts me, but I hope we will all take a second look at how we can make people aware. =( RIP my four legged friends.
horselvr
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July 16, 2010
I don't usually comment on these blogs, but this story made me sick. How dare those horse owners not check on their beautiful animals daily or more! It is bad enough that any of us have to endure the heat and wind in this God forsaken town, let alone being stuck in a field with no shade or water! I hope these despicable humans are charged with animal cruelty, neglect, abuse and murder! Use your brains animal owners...if you have a 1200 pound horse, and it's summer and 100 degrees (or any season), and you stick the animal in a field with no shade...THINK and make sure your animals are cared for properly with food, shelter and water! I pray for the survival of the other two horses. No animals should ever have to endure a death like this.


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