More neglected animals have been found at a 5-acre property near Murrieta where more than a dozen skinny horses were seized in 2011, but authorities say well-meaning animal lovers are thwarting their efforts to intervene.
“Perhaps if Riverside Animal Control had acted quicker, animal lovers wouldn’t have felt the need to intervene…even a follower on Twitter, who had seen the previous case’s I posted about regards the horses, contacted me. She too, was concerned about the animals left behind, in particular a dog, left out all night in freezing rain. I gave her the contact number for Riverside Animal Control, & told her to contact them direct. But she replied, saying there was no point, as nothing was being done.??
“Now, Riverside Animal Control say animal lovers are thwarting their efforts to help…that’s a bit harsh!! There obviously only helping because they have seen no progress from Riverside Animal Control & do not want the animals to end up like the emaciated horses that the above knew about for months, yet didn’t seize until weeks of attempting to get the owner to comply!”
“Regards Riverside Animal Control, one would think, knowing this women’s history with animals & knowing about the case with her mothers abuse; they would have immediately seized the remaining animals; before they too, ended up emaciated or worse! !”
“These well-meaning, caring people are only intervening because they see that the Riverside Animal Control are doing nothing to help the animals; hence they are feeding & watering them, & so would I if I lived there too, knowing the past history!! If it is a case of the animals have to be without food before they can be seized, then one can’t help but feel sorry for them, & want to feed them. But if this is the case, the public need to be told, so at least we are assured something will be done, if the food & water from caring people stop!”
The property owner, Janice Susan Deutsch, 47, who has been charged with animal cruelty in the 2011 case, (by Riverside Animal Control) has been in jail since Nov. 26 in connection with another investigation involving allegations of abuse against her elderly mother.
Animal control officials have made nine visits to Deutsch’s Hitt Lane property since receiving a report early this month of several dogs and goats abandoned there, said John Welsh, a spokesman for the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. “Nine visit’s, plus the numerous visit’s they did in the previous year, regards the skinny horses…she was well-known to Riverside Animal Control, for not caring for her animals.”
Officers found 14 dogs and eight goats left without food or water on the property in the rural La Cresta area, court records say. Some of the animals appeared to be underweight. Officers could see dogs confined to areas that had become filthy with faeces and at least one goat had a wound on its neck, court records say. ” Surely the above evidence, was enough for Riverside Animal Control, to seize the animals? After so many visits, they must have known the animals had been left to fend for themselves!”
After receiving no response to notices left at the property, officers tracked down Deutsch, who is in custody at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside. They told her about the condition of her animals and asked if she would sign a release turning them over to animal services. “Once they knew Deutsch was in custody, the animals should have been seized, they knew from past experience the animals were not well cared for! Had they done so, others would not have needed to intervene; for all intense & purposes, these animals have been essentially left to their own devices & can’t survive indefinite without at least fresh water!”
Deutsch declined, court records say, “insisting they were being taken excellent care of by friends.” “Again, Riverside Animal Control should have just seized the animals, knowing the owners previous history & the trouble they had getting the animals away!”
In the meantime, word of the animals’ plight made its way to Facebook. An animal lover who had visited the property appears to have told a friend who, in turn, posted a call for help from the public on Facebook.
“EMERGENCY IN CALIFORNIA,” a woman who identified herself as Kelley White wrote. “Please share this with your friends in CA, time is running out for these animals.”
The post gave the address of the property and said animal control had refused to take the animals. It described dogs and goats left to fend for themselves, adding that they were facing starvation and eating livestock carcasses. “Judging by the information from my Twitter follower, this was true… Riverside Animal Control should have taken action earlier!
On Christmas Eve, an animal control officer returned to the property after two injured goats were reported, court records say. The officer found the goats underweight and dehydrated, with infected, oozing wounds to their necks that appeared to have been inflicted by dogs, court records say. One of the goats was unable to stand.“Was this still not a good enough reason to seize all the animals then??”
Officers impounded the two goats and, after an evaluation by a veterinarian, the animals were euthanized. “Would these poor goats have suffered & lost their lives, had Riverside Animal Control acted earlier??”
Welsh said officers returned to the property with a search warrant later in the week, planning to seize the animals, but found them with ample food and water. Animal lovers apparently had seen the Facebook post and driven out to the property with supplies, he said. “The wording ‘Later in the week’ could have made all the difference between dehydrated, dying animals; had animal lovers not intervened when they did!”
“Folks have essentially gone onto a property illegally and begun to feed these animals,” Welsh said. “Only because the animals had no other source of food or fresh water, there is nothing wrong with caring & I for one am pleased they did!”
The animals’ situation is insufficiently dire for officers to seize them from private property, Welsh said. “That is only because kind-hearted people have fed & watered the animals…had they not, it could have been a very dire situation! Or do the animals have to be left without food & water for a certain time before the animals are to be cared for by Animal control? if so the public need to know asap!!”
Welsh said that while he understands the animal lovers’ frustration, they are impeding authorities’ efforts to remove the animals. “Sorry, but animal lovers can’t see animals go hungry & thirsty; if & when the local authorities; seem to be doing nothing to help!”
“ They’ve got to allow us to do our job,” Welsh said. “We’re on top of this.” “Clearly they are not on top of it, when a Twitter follower alerts me to this, they can see what’s happening as they live very close; the animals are suffering !”
On Friday, several large dogs and pups were roaming the fenced property and livestock could be seen in a pen with an attached barn.
In the previous case involving Deutsch’s horses, animal control officials said authorities failed for months to heed their warnings that she needed to feed them more. When the horses were seized last year, several had become extremely emaciated and were living in poorly maintained stalls, authorities said.“Why did they wait months before seizing the horses, surely a case such as this is down to Animal Control; I don’t understand what other authorities they refer to. Residents don’t want to see the same happen to the other animals… I’m sure residents wouldn’t feel the need to interfere if they saw Riverside Animal control taking care of the animals; before any of them suffer!”
Deutsch was charged in October with causing great bodily injury on an elderly person, court records show. Orange County sheriff’s officials began investigating Deutsch after she brought her 86-year-old mother, covered in urine and faeces to a hospital in Mission Viejo on Sept. 30.
Deutsch told investigators she had left her mother outside on a chaise lounge for more than a week because she had refused to move or cooperate with efforts to help her, court records say. “Seriously, if she is going to treat her own mother in such a despicable way, those animals don’t stand a chance…they should have been taken care of immediately in Deutsch absence; which Animal control knew about!”
Deutsch has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, court records show. “This woman is obviously deluded if she thinks there is nothing wrong with leaving her elderly mother out on her porch for a week & not caring for her animals properly. She certainly shouldn’t be allowed to care for any more animals, that’s for sure!”