As you may have heard, CHANGE recently had the largest intake in the history of the organization. On March 23, 2018, our field services coordinator and the president of our board of directors, Heather Bailey, received a call from Sonoma County Animal Services that they would be executing a seizure of 12 horses from a farm outside of Cloverdale.
Heather sprang into action, calling up CHANGE's network of volunteer haulers and foster barns, and coordinating with law enforcement.
These horses are: Annie, Hallie, Poppy, Lakota, Gabby, Ethel, Shirley, Katie, Cocoa, Amber, Wally, and Fred.
Upon arrival at the property, there were 10 mares and two stallions living in terrible conditions, some with mud and feces up past their knees. Most of the animals were underweight, with body condition scores of one or two. All were suffering from skin problems due to the lack of shelter from the wet conditions. In addition, the two stallions' hoof care had been seriously neglected, and it appeared that they had not been out of their stalls for a long time. There was also a deceased horse lying in the mud near an empty feeder. The horses are estimated to range in age from 10 to 25 years, and are all Paints or Quarter Horses.
The owner, Josef Rafael, was possibly breeding horses previously. Thankfully though, none of the 10 mares have been found to be pregnant. Rafael has been charged with 12 counts of felony animal cruelty, a strong statement from law enforcement that neglect and abuse will not be tolerated.
All of these horses appear, despite their trauma, to have exceptionally kind temperaments. Even the greener ones work very hard to understand what is being asked of them.
Some of the horses are already available for adoptions, others are still on medical hold, but we do take applications. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Please take a look at each horse’s page for descriptions and updates.