OROVILLE, CA - A horse rescue organization paid as little as $50 each for 24 young horses it believes were headed for the slaughterhouse.
"It's a felony to sell horses for slaughter in California, but it happens every day," said Tawnee Preisner of the Horse Plus Humane Society.
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Preisner said 10 of the horse were bought Saturday at a livestock auction in Turlock, and the other 14 were purchased Monday directly from the man who hauled all of them down from Oregon.
Preisner said the group identifies horses likely being sold for slaughter based on the price, which she said runs about 22 cents per pound.
The group has rescued more than 2,000 horses since its inception in 2003, but has never bought so many youngsters at once.
The sudden influx has strained the group's resources, but Preisner said cost was the least of her concerns.
"They're precious little lives. You can't say no to them," she said.
Preisner said the group is actively seeking homes for the young horses along with donations for feed and medicine.
For more information: www.horsehumane.org
By George Warren, GWarren@news10.net