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Horse Abuse Cases Spark Inquiry

September 08, 1988

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has called for an investigation into the Department of Animal Care and Control's handling of allegations that horses were abused at a ranch in Saugus.

At the urging of Supervisor Mike Antonovich, the board also asked the department to review its procedures for impounding animals.

Antonovich aide Peter Whittingham said the supervisor called for the investigation because the case involved the Castaic Animal Shelter, which was harshly criticized last year by Santa Clarita Valley horse owners for its response to charges of horse neglect at another ranch in Saugus.

A department review of the October case found that two of the shelter's officers were slow to correct unsanitary conditions at the ranch, where 43 horses with untrimmed hoofs were living in manure-filled pens.

George Baca, the department's deputy chief, said one officer was suspended and another reprimanded.

The owner of the horses pleaded guilty to 90 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and was placed on two years' probation.

In the latest case, the department impounded three horses belonging to Tony Floyde two weeks ago after it received a complaint from Lisa Kiyle of Saugus, who said the horses were left on her ranch without food or water. One horse had a head wound, prompting the department to cite Floyde for cruelty to animals, Baca said.

Kiyle charged that the officers initially ignored the horse's injury and wanted to impound the animals but leave them on her property, even though she did not want them.

The three horses eventually were taken to a shelter in Downey. Baca said they were in good condition.

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