Animal Control Sent Horses to Illegal Auction!

Disclaimer: over the years we have brought to light various situations in our local county that have made a lot of people very angry, arrests, animal seizures, and more.  There are always friends of the people involved who attack us and make up vicious lies about us, trying to ruin our reputation.  We try to stay out of these kinds of situations as much as possible, but when we see state laws being broken by county officials, to the hurt of animals, we cannot be silent.  No doubt this blog will make more people mad about us, and more lies and rumors fly around for awhile, but we cannot be silent.  This is our opinion of the events that transpired over the weekend.

On Thursday we were notified that Butte County Animal Control was taking two horses to an illegal horse auction in Lincoln, CA.  We are at liberty to say it is an illegal auction because they do not have a bond issued with the Secretary of State (misdemeanor punishable by $1,000 fine or up to 1 year in jail) and a whole lot of other illegal activities surrounding their auction.

We went to the Lincoln Horse Auction Facebook page and they were quite happy that Animal Control was bringing them horses…

Concerned that these horses could easily end up in the slaughter pipeline, Jason got on the phone with the supervisor of Butte County Animal Control.  He asked what the reserve price would be, and she stated $100.

We were concerned about this because Ca law states that for Animal Control agency’s must set the reserve above current meat price when they take horses to auction.  $100 is definitely in meat price range.  Jason told her that it was not acceptable to have the reserve within meat price, and she said “That’s fine but my boss told me to unload them.”   Jason then asked if the buyers would be getting the adoption contract which states the buyer of the horse will not send them to slaughter, and Linda said “Yes that’s on our contracts that we send down for the buyers to sign.”

One of our undercover rescuers was going to be called into action as we were quite suspicious about how all this would turn out, and we were very concerned for the horses that our tax dollars are being used to protect.  The horses were available for preview according to Lincoln Horse Auction Facebook page, so he headed out to see them.  He arrived just as the 2 Animal Control officers were leaving.   We wanted to make sure our rescuer knew which two horses he was going to be saving.  The Facebook page said it was a Quarter Pony, but it was more of a Mustang cross horse, not a pony.  He noticed that the other horse had a weepy eye that looked to have something wrong with it.

The day of the auction our rescuer (one single middle aged guy, not Jason) was at the auction.  Mind you, this auction has never had contact or dealing with him before the rescue operation.  He could have driven from anywhere to get a couple more horses to fill up a load headed to Mexico.  He went in to get a bidders card, and he was surprised when they just wrote a number and handed it to him.  At every other auction we have been to they check your photo ID, take down your drivers license number, and your address.   There were only about 10-15 horses at the auction, and the two Animal Control horses came into the ring together.  They talked a little about the horses then the bidding started.  It went down to $150, then someone bid, then our rescuer bid at $200, and in the end saved the horses from an unknown fate for only $200 each.  At the last auction rescue we did the kill buyers were paying well over $200 for horses.

After the sale our rescuer paid for the horses, and then had to ask for a bill of sale.  Mind you, they still did not have any of his information, and Animal Control said that the buyers would have to sign their adoption contract stating that the horses would not be sent to slaughter.  He never had to do that.  He had to request that his name be put on the Bill of Sale as we needed proof that we purchased the horses.

Shortly after the sale we were surprised at Lincoln Horse Auction’s post that lied when it stated that the horses were both purchased by the same family.  These horses were not purchased by a family, they were purchased by a single guy who they have no idea who he is, where he came from, or what he is going to do with the horses.  Apparently Joe didn’t work very hard to “save” these horses when he had no idea who they were sold to…

Ca law states that auctions must keep accurate records for 2 years of every item sold, a description, the name and address of the consignor AND the buyer, for every single item (including animals) sold at every auction.  Violation of this is a misdemeanor.   

The two horses are safely at our shelter now.  This is the Mustang cross (no brand) gelding.

This is the horse with the weepy eye.  We had our vet examine him and he believes that he had some kind of trauma to his eye.  Animal Control took a horse that needed medical care (eye medication 2-3 times a day) to an illegal auction, selling them below meat price, all in violation of Ca law.

Obviously something has to be done about this so it never happens again.  We would like to ask all of you, our supporters and followers, to contact Placer County District Attorney office (where the auction is held) and ask that a full investigation be done on Joe Cardenas, who runs Lincoln Horse Auction, also known as JC Quarterhorse.   Please write a polite, short email to R. Scott Owens, Placer County District Attorney.  His email is:

In Butte County, the Animal Control is ran by Public Health.  We feel it is important to go directly to Animal Control’s boss, who is Cathy Raevsky.  She needs to realize that her Animal Control has violated Ca penal code 597.2b by putting the reserve under meat price, (even at the sale price of $200, it’s still meat price) and no doubt violated other California laws by utilizing an illegal auction.  We checked with auctions across the United States, and they all reflect 20-33 cents a lb for the going rate for horses.  That would mean they should have put the reserve ABOVE 33 cents a lb, which would have been $350+.

Please write or call politely and courteously, but let them know this is not acceptable.  The head of Public Health’s name is Cathy and her contact information is:

Att: Cathy Raevsky
Director of Public Health
(530) 538-7581

It is very sad that Butte County Animal Control does not follow the example of many other counties and utilize our services.  Animal Control supervisor says that we charge $150 surrender fee, and they can’t pay that.  They could pay that, they pay that every month they board the horses while they are looking for a home.  They just paid, between staff, fuel and auction fees, about $300 – $400 to take them to auction.  They told us that they would euthanize them if they didn’t take them to auction, but it cost them more than $150 for euthanasia and disposal.  In what way does it not make sense to utilize our resources?  All that aside, we work with many people and Animal Control agencies who do not have the funds for the full surrender fee, we are an open door shelter and do not turn away horses in need.