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Placer County neighbors concerned about horses at a property in Newcastle

Some neighbors have voiced concerns about a property owner in Placer County who they say is hoarding and mistreating horses.
Credit: Mayde Gomez

NEWCASTLE, California — Neighbors in Newcastle and Lincoln are sounding the alarm on a property owner who they said they believe is hoarding and mistreating horses.

Elena Faria-Lewis told ABC10 her neighbor’s property is not suitable for horses. She said the animals can easily get hurt by the number of items lying around the property. Not only that, she also claims the horses are not fed regularly.

“I have watched, and she doesn’t feed every day. And when she feeds, she does not feed them enough,” said Faria-Lewis.

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Credit: Mayde Gomez

Kathy Mansfield owns property nearby, and even though she does not live there anymore, she said she is aware of the problem.

“There is not enough pasture for this many horses. There is no grass. I know she feeds them, and I know she means well, but yeah,” said Mansfield.

On the internet, the multi-acre property is registered as an "equestrian center." 

The property owner, who ABC10 is only identifying as Jan, said she is a horse trainer and has been boarding horses on the property for 30 years. She said her neighbors are making false accusations.

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Credit: Mayde Gomez

“People think that old horses should look like a 10-year-old horse or a 5-year-old horse and they don’t. These horses live to be 30 to 35,” said Jan.

But these accusations between Jan and her neighbors have been going on for years. 

Faria-Lewis said she has been in contact with multiple animal protection agencies for more than 15 years. She said she has filed multiple animal abuse complaints with Placer County Animals Services.

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Credit: Mayde Gomez

“I took pictures (of the horses) and marched them up to animal control. They gave me lip service... at the end they say- we will call you if we need you,” said Faria-Lewis.

Katie Combs-Prichard with the Placer County Animals Services confirmed to ABC10 that there is an open investigation on the property. She was unable to give more details but did say that in the past this same property has been investigated and officers with the agency have found the accusations to be unfounded.

Combs-Prichard said this new investigation could take days or even weeks.

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