The organizer of a horse auction came under fire for the condition of some of the animals found on his ranch.
Joe Cardenas had more than 100 horses on his Olivehurst property. Many of them looked perfectly healthy but some in the community had evidence that suggested that wasn't the case.
The allegations of neglect and abuse came from Horse Plus Humane Society, a rescue group in Bangor, CA. They provided pictures and video footage of emaciated horses and rotting carcasses found on the property.
Organizers at Horse Plus Humane Society said they received the footage from neighbors.
"Driving past the property, I've seen horses that are emaciated, horses with no shelter, it's 110 degrees outside," said Tawnee Preisner, founder of the rescue group.
Last Thursday, Yuba County Sheriff's deputies served a search warrant at the ranch.
They discovered a marijuana grow operation and seized 85 plants.They also found one dead horse which they believed to have been dead for a while.
"They are not provided with proper medical care and they simply die a miserable death," said one community member who did not want to be identified.
"We would like to see him out of the horse business because we feel he doesn't have the financial, emotional ability to take care of that many horses," they said.
A News 10 crew went to the property but found no visible sign of emaciated horses.
Last year, Cardenas was featured in the local newspaper for his "love for horses." "I decided to create an auction that was horse friendly. They wouldn't end up on the back of a semi. A good horse for good people is my theme," Cardenas said in the Appeal Democrat.
But not everyone saw it that way. "It's not okay to abuse animals and anyone who does needs to be held accountable," said Preisner.
Presiner said Cardenas doesn't have the resources to take care of the horses and should face animal cruelty charges.