Crime, Fire + Courts

Esparto landowner faces animal cruelty allegations

By From page A1 | July 08, 2014

A Pittsburg man was scheduled to be arraigned in Yolo Superior Court on felony animal cruelty charges Tuesday after authorities found sick and dead animals on his Esparto property last week.

Concepcion Martinez Vasquez, 39, was taken into custody Thursday at the Yolo County animal shelter in Woodland after he arrived there to relinquish his ownership of the living horse and chickens found on his property on County Road 86 near County Road 21A, Chief Animal Services Officer Vicky Fletcher said.

Vasquez remained in Yolo County Jail custody in lieu of $20,000 bail as of Monday afternoon.

Fletcher said authorities were summoned to the Esparto property Thursday morning after a passerby noticed one horse that appeared to be dead and another that was “in pretty bad shape.” Animal Services officers discovered the horses had neither food nor water, nor did a pen containing a rooster, two hens and several chicks.

One of the hens also had died, Fletcher said.

The living horse was taken to the UC Davis Veterinary Hospital, where an evaluation revealed that its salt and selenium levels “were higher than anything they’d ever seen” — indications of severe dehydration, Fletcher said. The gelding’s hooves also were “seriously overgrown,” and it had suffered a wire cut to a leg that had gone untreated.

Despite the horse’s poor condition, “it has a good prognosis,” Fletcher said. “We’ll be looking for a home for him.”

Fletcher said the shelter welcomes monetary donations from the community to cover the horse’s care until it is adopted. For more information, call Yolo County Animal Services at 530-668-5287.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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