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Custody Fight Over Horses Brings Police to Local Shelter

GRACEEL DORADO HILLS-

It has the makings of a classic western story- a show-down, not on horse back but over the horses themselves.

Wednesday morning, sheriff’s deputies and horse trailers showed-up at the gates of the Grace Foundation in El Dorado County. They were there to collect nearly four dozen horses. It’s the latest chapter in the saga of those animals that has seen them severely mistreated and subsequently caught-up in a foreclosure fight.

“Our attorneys told us to stand our ground, they don’t have the right to take them. just ask them nicely to leave the property,” said Beth DeCaprio.

DeCaprio is the head of the Grace Foundation. She says they have brought a suit against the banks foreclosing on the horses’ previous owners for bills over a million dollars she says Grace has wracked-up caring for the animals while the foreclosure was being processed.

DeCaprio said the costs have nearly put the Grace Foundation out of business; that they now longer feature children’s programs, and aren’t taking in new animals so they can focus on the 43 horses in their care.

So wouldn’t they welcome relief from having to care for the horses?

“We’d welcome it if they were going to a good home,” DeCaprio said.

While the Lassen County Court was satisfied with the new facility the horses were going to be sent to while this is all getting settled, in the end it was the money that they cost the Grace Foundation that kept them at the Grace Foundation. Under California law, if an animals care giver is owed money for their services, they can keep the animal until the bill is settled.

The case will be back in court tomorrow in Lassen County.