For release on November 14, 2014
CONTACT: SOUTH COUNTY HORSE OWNER CHARGED WITH ANIMAL CRUELTY, HERD SEIZED
Steve Lowney, Supervising Deputy District Attorney
W: (408) 201-0538
Email: [email protected]
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has charged a South County horse owner with felony cruelty to animals. County Animal Control this week seized the herd, which remained after a neighbor and a rescue center tried to help by buying some of the most neglected animals. Many of the horses owned by Humberto Rivas Uribe, 51, in Gilroy and Morgan Hill were found to be emaciated and neglected. Some were severely malnourished and ill. One bay colt died in September from complications due to intestinal parasites a day after Uribe sold it to the Equine Rescue Center and Sanctuary. Uribe is currently in custody in San Mateo County on unrelated charges. Facing a $250,000 warrant, he will be arraigned in Morgan Hill at a later date. If convicted, Uribe could face jail time. Toward the end of September, the District Attorney's Office began receiving numerous complaints from members of the public deeply concerned about the treatment and care of horses located on Maple Avenue in Morgan Hill and Center Road in Gilroy. After reviewing the information obtained from the public and the reports from Santa Clara County Animal Control, this Office assigned a Deputy District Attorney and a District Attorney Investigator to assist animal control in their investigation of possible animal cruelty and neglect. Supervising Deputy District Attorney Steve Lowney and Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Ellis met with concerned citizens several times. During the course of October and the beginning of November, DDA Ellis and District Attorney Investigators, along with Animal Control Officers, interviewed the defendant, witnesses, and collected evidence. Earlier this year, a concerned neighbor bought three of the horses, while the Rescue Center purchased a dozen more. But Uribe acquired even more horses.
The horses seized this week will be placed with animal rescue agencies or individual ranches.