Officials took custody of several horses and a dead burro discovered on a property near the Salton Sea where another horse was found dead Monday morning.
Authorities were called by a concerned resident who said they saw a horse on the ground at the North Shore-adjacent ranch, which they said also did not appear to be stocked with any food for the animals, according to a news release from the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
Officers were unable to find hay or food of any kind when the responded to the ranch on Via Verbena around 10:30 a.m., the agency said.
The body of the horse that had already died was removed and taken to a lab for necropsy. A cruelty investigation has been opened, pending the results.
The other animals there — six thin horses, one miniature horse and one burro — were clearly neglected, officials said.
Their owner appeared on the property shortly after Animal Services officers arrived, and he relinquished ownership, according to the department.
The eight surviving animals were taken to the county’s San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus.
Because the animals were surrendered, officials were able to immediately put them up for adoption.
The San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus is located at 581 S. Grand Ave. in San Jacinto.