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16 Horses Seized in La Cresta After Yearlong Investigation

The horses, all Thoroughbreds of various ages, were seized by Riverside County Animal Services from 19870 Hitt Lane in the community of La Cresta, west of Murrieta.

Sixteen horses were seized out of a posh community in unincorporated Murrieta Thursday morning after a nearly yearlong animal cruelty investigation.

The horses, all Thoroughbreds of various ages, were seized by Riverside County Animal Services from 19870 Hitt Lane in the community of La Cresta.

According to Dr. Allan Drusys, Riverside County chief veterinarian, many of the horses were malnourished.

“Twelve to 13 of the horses are very much underweight,” Dr. Drusys said, noting that the property owner had been prescribed a veterinary treatment plan.

“She has failed to live up to her side,” Drusys said.

Janice Deutsch, 46, owns the multi-acre Spanish-style equestrian property on Hitt Lane and explained that she is the registered owner of half the horses that were seized; the other animals, she said, are owned by boarders.

Deutsch, who shares the residence with her 85-year-old mother, admitted that some of the equines under her care are too skinny, but contended that her property fell victim to a disease outbreak earlier this year that caused the weight loss.

“We had strangles here,” she said. “Some of the horses dropped weight because of it and are too skinny, but we have been working to get them back up."

Strangles is a bacterial infection that affects a horse’s respiratory system.

According to Sgt. Lesley Huennekens of Riverside County Animal Services, there was no report of a strangles outbreak on Duetsch’s property.

During Thursday’s seizure, most of the horses on the property were given a body score by Dr. Drusys of between Grade 2 and Grade 4. The grade system is used by equine veterinarians to assess a horse’s body weight. According to Dr. Drusys, a healthy horse is typically a Grade 3.

Deutsch said her primary care veterinarian prescribed a straight alfalfa hay diet for the thin animals. However, Deutsch said she didn’t feel an all-alfalfa diet was appropriate, citing that she believed it would make her horses sick.

Money was not the issue, Deutsch said of costly hay prices. “We just needed the time to get the animals healthy.”

Norm Lindsay, who boards a horse on Deutsch’s property, was concerned about how he would get his animal back.

“I can’t get any information,” he said.

Lindsay said he felt many of the horses on Duetsch’s property were too thin, but said it was due to “ignorance.”

“She didn’t feed them enough calories,” he said flatly. “But she’s doing what they told her to do. This [the seizure] is not a horse rescue, it’s a horse rip-off.”

But Deutsch said she is not new to the horse world, having experience as a racehorse trainer.  

“I was at Pomona Fairgrounds and Hollywood Park,” she said, but admitted that her trainer’s license was revoked because of her failure to pay fees that were due.

According to John Welsh, public information officer for Riverside County Animal Services, Deutsch was given ample time to get the animals healthy.

“She has not been cooperating,” he said. “This investigation has been ongoing for nearly a year.”

Welsh said the seized horses will be relocated to a ranch in unincorporated Riverside County, near Hemet. In the meantime, Riverside County Animal Services will file animal cruelty charges with the district attorney’s office.

If, through the courts, the horses become county property, they will be adopted out, Welsh said.

“We would go out of our way to adopt them out,” Dr. Drusys said.

Susan Marsh September 24, 2011 at 01:55 AM
Diane, I am not her neighbor and I do not know her or the condition of the horses. But your cmments border on slander if you don't have proof. That is all I am saying. Lisa, yes the horse with his head down is under weight but blow up the last two pictures, the horses look fine. Without knowing the age and history of each individual horse it is not possible to diagnose their condition, especially not from a picture. The County's vet gave them a 3; most healthy heads horse score between 2-4. You do the math. Do we always need to jump to conclusions, judge and criticize people when we do not have all the facts? Even living next door to these horses does not give someone the information necessary. We all want to be innocent until proven guilty.
Lisa September 24, 2011 at 08:03 AM
The last 2 pictures are of the same horse...so 1 out of 16 looks ok...you do the math. And Animal Control will not take horses that are properly cared for...I have had a lot of experience with this as I'm usually the person calling them. They gave this woman a year to get those horses back in shape and it didn't happen. I'd say that's long enough.
Chris September 27, 2011 at 04:41 PM
@ Susan Marsh -- The county vet was on the evening news and stated that the horses were severely malnourished and that there was no strangles outbreak, which was the owner's excuse for the horses' condition. Additionally, the news detailed how the county had MULTIPLE vets assess the horses, and ALL OF THEM gave the same assessment: severe NEGLECT. To quote you: "Do we always need to jump to conclusions, judge and criticize people when we do not have all the facts?" This is interesting considering you are the first to jump to conclusions, no matter what the topic. It's always conspiracy, corruption with you. No government agency can do right in your eyes.
Susan Marsh September 27, 2011 at 07:10 PM
@ Chris, I never said the the horses were not malnourished. I quoted the vet who contradicted himself about the condition of the horses. And excuse me for thinking people should not be judged and convicted without an opportunity to face their accusers and explain their side of the story. I live in the United States of America and according to the IV, V & VI amendments of the Constitution (Bill of Rights) this woman and her horses (her property) have the right to be secure in their persons; shall not be deprived of property without due process and confronted by witnesses, have witnesses in his favor during a speedy and public trial. Not judged by a mixture of people that have some but not all the information. I don't think everything is a conspiracy, I do think there is a LOT of corruption by people who like to think they have power. As far government agencies doing right; I am sure there are some that do a find job. Which not to say that any of us should just blindly follow and allow the government to lead us where they will. I am not anti government, I am pro common sense (which is not common anymore) and personal responsiblity (in place of government dependence). How is that wrong?
Chris September 27, 2011 at 07:41 PM
@Susan -- So then what is your point other than pointing out either a misspeak or misquote? If the horses are malnourished then they need to be removed. California LAW mandates this. If you feel the state's law regarding animal abuse and taking emergency action to protect endangered animals is 'unconstitutional', then feel free to take it to the Supreme Court, and good luck with that. The officers are acting within the law. You act as if this comment board is the body that will determine the fate of this woman. You seem to be confusing the court of law with the court of public opinion. I have every right to form my own opinions and to express them (including my opinion regarding her guilt), because I am NOT A COURT OF LAW. All of the things you mention about confronting her accusers, witnesses, etc. will happen when her criminal case is brought to trial. That does not mean that the rest of us who are not involved are not allowed to point out what looks like a glaringly obvious case of neglect and animal cruelty. I never said common sense is wrong. All I pointed out was that you tell others not to jump to conclusions when you are a major offender of the same, with law enforcement, the government, et al, on the other end of your numerous conspiracy conclusions. You have every right to have all of your conspiracy theories and to express them; just as everyone else has the right to pass their own personal judgment on this woman. Welcome to freedom.
Susan Marsh September 27, 2011 at 08:05 PM
Chris, you read a lot into what I said. You asked, my point was that the vet evaluated the horses and said they scored between a 2 and 4 on the scale. He further said that a healthy horse would score a 3. No where has the vet, the paper or anyone else said this was a mistake or misquote. My point was if they scored between a 2 and 4 then were they really in need of removal? My "opinion" is that moving the horses like that would cause them stress, making their condition worse, not better. I questioned: 1. if they need to be removed if they scored between 2 &4 2. It seemed that the woman was being judged harshly by the public without knowing the facts. I have re-read the comments I posted and I do not see where I am condemning the government or mentioning a conspiracy.
Lisa September 27, 2011 at 08:15 PM
Oh For Cryin Out Loud....The horses were malnourished...most were skin and bones.... it was an ongoing investigation. They gave her a year...which is probabaly too much time. She failed her duty to keep up proper care of the animals. SHE LOST THEM....WHICH WILL PROBABLY SAVE THEIR LIVES!!!! Do you really feel the need to complain further about a Vet's probable mis quote. Animal Services should be applauded for stepping in. If you were her neighbor would you have ignored the situation???? Oh My Goodness....we don't want to step on anyone's little toes
Chris September 27, 2011 at 08:26 PM
@Susan -- Nice circular argument you have there. "I never said that they are not malnourished, but in my opinion they are not malnourished enough to remove." Either they are or they aren't. Here is what I have seen: the news had one vet on camera stating that the horses were SEVERELY MALNOURISHED due to neglect, not disease. The news also stated that the county obtained NUMEROUS other vets' opinions on the horses. ALL of the vets concurred that the horses were severely malnourished due to neglect. THEREFORE, removing the horses is necessary.
Chris September 27, 2011 at 08:26 PM
Further, if I were the vet quoted in this article, I would not feel the need to address Patch (assuming that I am even aware of its existence) and clear my statement as either a misspeak or misquote. The vet doesn't care what PATCH says, all that matters is what will be presented to the COURT. As far as the woman being judged harshly, I will repeat myself: we are not a jury and so we have every right to have our opinions as to her innocence or guilt. Personally, I take the word of multiple vets and the fact that this case is almost a year old as evidence enough to form my own verdict, because, again, I am not a jury. If you choose to weigh one unclear statement about an obscure numeric scale over the mountain of other evidence, including the SAME VET'S other statements explicitally condemning the owner for neglect, that's your decision. Personally I find that logic to be flawed, and knowing your positions regarding the government/law enforcement, jaded as well. I dunno Susan, "Big Brother knows best"? Wouldn't that statement imply the government is overreaching its authority? I also refer to the track record of your posts, not just those in this article. They are pretty consistent.
Sally Rista Anderson October 01, 2011 at 05:25 PM
Luv2rocku,,@Liz who perscibes an all alfalfa diet? A smart vet! Sorry, I have been raising horses for 50 years,,Drive by my place,,I live here,,not all TBs are HOT,,as a matter of fact being that we live I'n So ca, they need at least 40 pct more nutrition, as it's hot dry and our grazing season is very limited , I have rescued many off the track, the first thing I do is cool them down with a balanced diet, I also have shown pleasure performance most of my life, Some folks don't like to feed a nurishing diet to keep the horses lazy and tierd, I have never bought into that, how hard is it to trot your horse out or work them I'n the round pen first,, alfalfa and exercise would have put them right on track, and helps build muscle, TBs are hard keepers, I have horses I'n thier late 20s even early 30s, tbs and qh, Draft horses, ponies, babies, All with different nutritional needs, I get my shots trim and shoe, shovel manuer,And were alfalfa I'n my hair like it is a jewel, I have a QH that at age ten grew 2 inches out of no place, as his prior owner only fed him Timothy ,this caused what is known as a staggered growth pattern, Due to lack of proper nutrition, Like a gymnast who works out hard but does not eat enough It can stunt thier growth, Up until my QH was on Alfalfa, He looked like he was 3 at age ten and looked very mare-ish, Next to every foot print there is a hoof print, this world was built by horses, Horses deserve kindness love RESPECT!
Sally Rista Anderson October 01, 2011 at 07:41 PM
I don't think I'n this day and age anyone is going to cha ching, lol. Even the kill pens are full. And I don't think anyone was quick to judge, A year? Face it something was rotten in La Creasta,, I read that the ASPCA offered a grant to help these horses, anyone know the 411 on that? They can't sell those horses for profit, Kinda dramatic,,,,,, Also as far as the stress from removing them from thier home,,I take my horses all over the country, I ride from dusk till dawn, they loose a little weight but gain allot of muscle. Because I feed them, Most of it is water, and from exercise, At first they get a little nervouse,,, But buddy up with somebody and I keep them busy with feed.. Let's face facts, She did not care for them,And running a boarding stable, every person who boards there should have had up to date shots, teeth floating,regular trims shoes, vet checks, y'a know the things you do when you own horses? If they were not getting feed then they probably did not get much else, including affection, Horse rescue is not a money making business, it's a loose loose for everyone, Feed your horse especially TBs that are skinny, feed them often, I know there is allot of good ol boy stuff up here, but not I'n this case, you have to make a life long plan, And be ready as you never know what's going to happen,I just spent over 2800 , feed vet, shots teeth, shoer here so that's another 400 also worming , takes commitment
Sally Rista Anderson October 01, 2011 at 08:47 PM
I'n the above article is stated it was really not a money issue , but that alfalfa would make her horses sick, If we were I'n Ohio Wyo , sure. Might want to limit the protien content, this is the high DESERT,,The vet made the right call on that, I cut back on my feed during the rainy season,but my TBs have always thrived on alfalfa, Or alfalfa orchard mix, This is a classic case of being mis informed or just not that concerned. But a year is plenty of time to get up to speed, I have turned horses around I'n 8 weeks that were skin and bones, This is sad as the situation is, people are not buying horses, I run out every day and do a head count , Praying not another horse has wandered on to our place or been dumped, I have owned at one time or another just about every breed, Or have cared for them ,including mustangs, If any horse needs alfalfa it's a big tall TB,I'n southern Cali, Strangles has been a problem up here for years, It can llay dormant I'n the soil for quite a while, y'a gotta keep things clean,, that's why I keep a closed herd, and confine new bees for a month, And when we go to shows, Or on trips, All horses are up to par on shots and I'n optimum health.even still after all precautions shots, we got them a few years back from a girl that had a horse riddled with strangles she took him around and let him nose up with my horses and others, Her horse was not skinny, I have seen worse, But those horses were not healthy,some folks should just not have horses,,
Sally Rista Anderson October 01, 2011 at 11:22 PM
One thing I do agree with is the sorrel horse does not look under weight, If this horse is owned by a boarder, and they have a file of records, They most likely can get him back, I think they might have taken the horses that were not as bad off as the others for protection, I have been involved I'n many rescues, a great deal of horses are returned to the original owners, they might be keeping him for reside controll or quarantine, this is rare though, At times I have seen horrible situations and animal controll did not seize the horses, But remember if it's not on paper, it did not happen,So records are very important, No does not always mean no, It means try harder, I called AC, about a Minnie off lemon street that had been tied to a fence for about 2 years, they still did not seize him, he had a club foot, was living on a deep slope, horrible, Also when I was a boarder back I'n the day, I always supplemented the stables feed, They do not want to adopt out horses that have good owners, But obviously the bad over shadowed the good, so i suggest to gather those records present them I'n court and fight to get back your horse, As long as horses are offerd minamal food and water, these cases are very hard to try, remember a lady left her horse I'n a 10 by 12 stall at the boarding stable for over a year, not a dam thing anyone could do, she paid her board the horse ate 2 times a day, had ample water, But some of them should go to loving homes, Hope we all learn from this,
Sally Rista Anderson October 02, 2011 at 08:23 PM
Oh Susan,, comon NOW! Lol, sorry not funny, but please have you surfed around do you know how many photos that are floating around? Showing The beautiful grey horse several sorrels , seal bay , the grey is gourgoumouse, and the one Soral on the drive was thin on the top line, and very weak I'n the hind quarters, , No crime But he was on his way,,that is the only one of the bunch that I was sad to see go,but JANIS WAS SHUT DOWN,,Thats how it works, hopefully if that Red horse was owned by boarder they will get him back, They will release the location of the horses as soon as all vets have assessed each horse,,and it does not take take a Rocket scientist to find them So owner might be able to get them back depending on condition , proof of health records, yea! I know, they were not interested, Good for them as they have other things to do, Like rescue horses,,,
James Hardie October 22, 2011 at 04:59 AM
Reading these comments, it is interesting how much has changed since California Horse Protection was destroyed nearly ten years ago; we never hear these sorts of supportive comments when we were fighting Riverside County. And how much hasn't changed - despite virtually a complete turnover in management and personnel (including the defeat of Supervisor Venable), Animal Control is still using the same playbook to destroy people and waste taxpayer money to solve a problem that doesn't necessarily need to require confiscation. Why do they do this? Because they can. Until corruption is confronted, the story will remain the same. At least it is encouraging that so many people can see through these tactics now. But it is still the horse owners who pay the price, and live with the knowledge that and one of you could be next, no matter how well you care for your animals.
Lisa October 22, 2011 at 10:47 AM
Whatever Dude...you obviously were on the wrong end of a seizure
Sally Rista Anderson October 22, 2011 at 03:48 PM
@James, What damp rock did climb out from under? Geeez go hug a tree or take another bong hit, This is not about you, you obviously don't have horses! I hope they Lambast the biyyyyaaatttcchh! You make absolutely no sense, Horse protection is not gone, That's why they seized the horses, you ding dong! They gave her way to much time and slack as far as most everyone I have talked to, I live here! I don't like this crap going down I'n my hood! Her mother was also being neglected , There were huge concerns al across the board, Oh! And speaking if board, Janis was charging money to starve other peoples horses, The ASPCA came I'n with a 16 thousand dollar grant to rehabilitate these horses, So where is it that you are paying anything! this is not about your crazy activist self entitlement that makes no sense, It's about the lives of horses that will soon need foster homes or adoption, other wise they go to auction,Then to the kill pen, Or over the boarder , that's how it works, there is no secret wicked conspiracy , Just a self centered witch that I hope eats crow soon!
Donna B. December 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM
To those who supported her - YES, she did it again. Don't know if this Facebook post is open: http://www.facebook.com/ajax/sharer/?s=2&appid=2305272732&p%5B0%5D=100004649130525&p%5B1%5D=148583 In any case, she moved out and left all her animals to die. 19 starving horses, goats, sheep all died, or were EATEN BY ALL THE DOGS, who are living in the house covered with feces. THEY ALSO ATE THEIR OWN PUPPIES. One "caretaker" - not sure whether hers or the Riverside Animal Control - who have refused to take in any of the animals!!!!- has threatened to shoot the goat who is too weak to stand and was bitten by one of the dogs. Other animals? No one knows. This woman should hang.
Diane December 25, 2012 at 10:12 PM
I can't believe this happened over a year ago...in that time it turns out I was right. Heroin addict who ended up abusing her mother and is now is facing prison. Don't doubt me again Susan Marsh!
Diane December 25, 2012 at 10:17 PM
How do you know this Donna? I find it hard to believe they gave those horses back to her? Just horrible...the last I heard she was facing prison for abusing her mother...
Trea January 01, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Wow, you malicious vindictive do gooders. How come riverside animal control KILLS 25,000 helpless innoocent animals a year. For MONEY. Why don't some of you actually HELP AN ANIMAL instead of vilifying the TRUE Animal lovers who are being taken down by the satanic wackos at Riverside animal control. each and every one of the RAC agents must PERSONNLY KILL THOUSANDS of puppies, kittens, dogs, cats and 70 to 95 % of all animals which they seize.
Selley January 04, 2013 at 10:52 PM
OMG ...?Beware of trea and shasta. They are trying to access more animals. Scary looking my girlfriend told me she met her in Temecula at her store. https://www.pet-abuse.com/profiles/18091 Scary! OMG
Seriously? January 04, 2013 at 10:55 PM
OMG ...?Beware of trea and shasta. They are trying to access more animals. Scary looking my girlfriend told me she met her in Temecula at her store. https://www.pet-abuse.com/profiles/18091 Scary! OMG
Seriously? January 04, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Is that you Trea? https://www.pet-abuse.com/profiles/18091 Scary! OMG
Seriously? January 04, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Trea? https://www.pet-abuse.com/profiles/18091 Trea is best friends with Janice ? Yes!!!!!!!!!! Scary! OMG
Diane January 04, 2013 at 11:50 PM
Well, you should think before you speak of what you don't know, Susan.
Sally Rista Anderson January 16, 2013 at 07:57 PM
I was worried about that, Most hoarders and neglecters will just continue to find more animals, It's an illness, I have rescued countless horses throughout my life and some were from the same owners. The judge should have ordered that she not own any animals, How is abandoning starving and allowing innocent animals to be eaten alive rescuing? This is beyond sick,
Sally Rista Anderson January 16, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Oh BTW @tria I have fricken saved animals my whole life, I started T age 4 bringing home abandoned dogs, rescued my first pony tied to a tree, I had him for 14 yrs, It would take me weeks to count how many I have rescued, and returned to their original owners , Who is vindictive, I was hearing about you on FB years ago, If you can't feed vet, give proper hoof care, vet checks 2x a year, Emergency care, , make a living trust so if something happens to you,,you have a plan set for your beloved animals life long care,shots wormer ,groom, blanket,love train, Handel your animals you should not have them, I am so sick of you people begging for money using animals a a ploy to get it, And hoarding them calling yourself a saints,,
Sally Rista Anderson January 16, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Gosh I could not pull up the link.@Donna, Do you have the actual post of her threat? As that is beyond illegal . This just breaks my heart, Is kind euthanasia to much to ask? Good Gowd. This is a nightmare . :-(
Sally Rista Anderson April 10, 2013 at 07:45 PM
@Concerned, do you still feel the same way? Look at all this woman has done, blow up those pics, Do you know the internal damage that is done when horses are starved and skeletal? When they loose their coat and get lesions they are close to death, Only one horse was just at or below normal body score, He had probably not been there as long, but was thin on the top line and weak in the hind quarters, He was on his way,,As if her wrath on the horses was not enough, She left her mother out doors for well over a week in over 100 deg heat , hosed her down with a garden hose, while she lay on a hard plastic lounge chair , with the bugs rattle snakes, she would not take her in as she said she was to heavy, Are you for real on supporting her? Close neighbors report she after all this abandoned her animals, the dogs ate their young and also goats,,If you still support her I hope you eat your words ,,I am the last to just jump to conclusion, but after all this,, Do you still feel the same way! I have loved and owned horses for over half a century, The one who made up the saying healthy as a horse, does not know horses, Horses are some of the most complexed creatures on this earth, This was not a case of good ol boy back yard rulers, The county did the right thing,,I have had many people ask about the horses willing to adopt ,,give forever homes, Anyone know if they have been re homed?

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