|Monday, 16 May 2011 00:00|
Two Men Arrested On Suspicion of Dumping Horse
Riverside Police Taking Lead on Cruelty Case Investigation
May 16, 2011 – A Riverside Police Department officer arrested two men Friday night on suspicion of animal cruelty.
The men are suspected of abandoning a malnourished, bruised horse in a rural, western pocket of the city of Riverside Friday (May 13) at about 8 p.m. Witnesses told authorities the men rode their horses into a hilly, grassy area near the Hidden Valley Nature Center while pulling a horse behind them. Moments later, authorities said, the men rode out without the skinny horse. The witnesses made contact with a Riverside Police officer, who then detained the men. Sgt. Cynthia Lee of Riverside County Animal Services and her colleague, officer Tiffany Fuller, found the horse about an hour later. A Riverside Police helicopter assisted the two animal control officers by shining a spotlight in the area where the suspected abandonment occurred.
Lee and Fuller retrieved the horse and it is now being examined and cared for by Riverside County Animal Services veterinary team members at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter. The horse is a male thoroughbred and is roughly 20 years old and is blind in the right eye.
Horse abandonment and neglect continuing to be growing concerns for the region's animal control officers. Riverside County Animal Services officers are finding at least one abandoned horse every week. Just in 2011 alone, Riverside County Animal Services has already impounded 42 horses, of which 28 were listed as "strays." The majority of the horses are not retrieved by their presumed owner.
"Very rarely do we ever catch anyone in the act of abandoning a horse, so this is very unique," Riverside County Animal Services Director Robert Miller said. "We're very appreciative of the eyewitnesses who played a major role in getting the information to the right people fast."
The Riverside police officer arrested the men, Juan Jose Hidalgo Rodarte, 50, and Cresenciano Castro Reyes, 44, and transported them to the Robert Presley Detention Center in downtown Riverside.
Riverside Police is taking the lead on the cruelty investigation and will forward the case to the Riverside County District Attorney's office. The department is seeking felony animal cruelty and a charge of conspiracy because the two men are accused of working together in the abandonment and neglect of the animal.