“Last year, Mr. Vachon was somewhat combative and uncooperative,” Sgt. Huennekens said. “But on Wednesday he appeared to want to do what was right for the animals.”
Field Services Division Commander Chris Mayer assisted his team members during the investigation on Wednesday. The horses were transported to two county shelter locations: the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus in San Jacinto and the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley.
Volunteer members of REARS, a large-animal rescue team unit, assisted the officers with transportation. REARS is an acronym for Riverside Emergency Animal Rescue System. Although the majority of the horses were resistant to being trailered, the officers eventually finished the task without injury to officers, nor the horses. But the operation sucked away several hours to safely trailer each horse – and that made it for a long day for the volunteers.
“This operation went smoothly, thanks to our skilled officers familiar with working around horses,” Mayer said. “And we really need to express our gratitude for the REARS volunteers. They came out early, were very patient as we led each horse into a trailer, then provided a major assist with the transportation of each horse to the respective shelter location. They were a huge help.”
Next up for Animal Services is finding new homes for the horses. Employees will reach out to various equine rescue groups and all horses are immediately available for adoption. Would-be adopters should be very experienced horse owners.