New features are coming soon. Login with Facebook to get an early start and help us test them out!
For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.
Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012County: Calaveras
Charges: Misdemeanor, Felony CTA
» Kimberly Camellia Paulden
» Paul Andrew David Paulden
A Vallecito couple faces animal cruelty charges after 15 malnourished horses were seized from their horse rescue ranch in February.
Paul and Kimberly Paulden, of the 4500 block of Red Hill Road, were booked March 29 on felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. Calaveras County Superior Court officials said the Pauldens' court date has not yet been entered into the computer system.
Sgt. Laurie Murray, director of Animal Services, said that in addition to the 15 ill horses, she found the remains of two dead horses on the ranch.
"I couldn't state as to why those horses died other than what the suspect told me happened," Murray said. "They'd been dead for a little while."
Murray said the horses that survived were underweight, and were treated for lice, rain rot and worms.
Initially, three horses were sent to Angels Camp Veterinary Hospital, while seven others were taken to a private Angels Camp ranch or to ReHorse Rescue in Jamestown.
Raquelle Van Vleck, director of ReHorse Rescue, said all the horses in her care are doing much better.
"They are all picking up weight. We've de-wormed everybody," Van Vleck said. "We've been treating the mare that was in the worst shape for rain rot (a condition that causes the horse's fur to slough off). She lost quite a bit of her coat."
The Pauldens have maintained their innocence, and say that the horses were malnourished when they received them. Christina Martinez, a personal friend of the Pauldens, defended the couple in a letter, stating the Pauldens took in horses no one else wanted.
"It's not easy taking in animals that have had years of neglect and abuse," Martinez wrote. "The Pauldens love animals and would not intentionally harm any one of them."
If convicted, the Pauldens could face a maximum of three years in prison; however, Murray said a prison sentence is unlikely.
The February incident was not the first time Animal Services was called to the Pauldens' ranch. Last September, a person complained about the condition of 20 horses, and Murray said the Pauldens voluntarily surrendered 10 horses to Horse Plus Human Society, a rescue group in Oroville.
Margo Anthony, a Murphys resident who reported the horses' condition in February, said Horse Plus was shocked at how emaciated the horses were last fall.
"Sadly, two of the horses died shortly after arriving at the veterinarian from starvation and dehydration," Anthony wrote.
Murray said the Pauldens cooperated with Animal Services last September; improving the conditions and care of the remaining horses. However, Murray said Animal Services received a call in February stating that herd numbers increased, prompting a second investigation.
"We hadn't been there for a month and a half to two months when we got a phone call reporting abuse," Murray said. "We checked it out, found that was the case and did what we had to do."
- calaverasenterprise.com - Apr 3, 2012 uniondemocrat.com - Mar 30, 2012 uniondemocrat.com - Feb 27, 2012 recordnet.com - Feb 17, 2012
Note: Classifications and other fields should not be used to determine what specific charges the suspect is facing or was convicted of - they are for research and statistical purposes only. The case report and subsequent updates outline the specific charges. Charges referenced in the original case report may be modified throughout the course of the investigation or trial, so case updates, when available, should always be considered the most accurate reflection of charges.
For more information regarding classifications and usage of this database, please visit the database notes and disclaimer.