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Man Faces One Felony Count in a Multi-Horse Investigation

A Riverside County Superior Court judge ruled on Wednesday (May 30) that there was sufficient evidence to hold a man to answer to one felony count of animal cruelty in a horse related matter in Nuevo.

Joseph Guy Vachon is facing one felony count stemming from a March 2016 activity. A horse was in such bad condition, investigating officer Sgt. Lesley Huennekens said that she believed the horse was already dead. It was not dead and she humanely euthanized the mare.

That horse’s condition resulted in a follow-up investigation at the 11-acre ranch property, located between Apricot Avenue and 12th Street in Nuevo. Many of the other horses were in a state of neglect, mostly from malnutrition, according to the investigation.

Mr. Vachon relinquished ownership of 23 horses on that first activity. Sgt. Huennekens and her colleagues returned to the property in September 2017 after neglect was reported once again. On that second visit, Mr. Vachon relinquished ownership of the remaining 14 horses.

The horses were ultimately made available for adoption and to Riverside County Animal Services’ rescue partner organizations.

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Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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