Seven emaciated and malnourished horses were among the animals removed from a woman’s home in Yucca Valley earlier this month.

The horses were taken from a home on the 8000 block of Warren Vista Avenue by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies and other local animal welfare groups.

The investigation initially began on July 15 when deputies visited the home of 66-year-old Leslie McMillan for a report of animal cruelty and neglect on her property.

Deputies offered to help McMillan place some of the animals into a rescue facility, but she refused, sheriff’s officials said.

Then a few days later, deputies returned to the property, this time with a search warrant to remove the animals.

Deputies from the Morongo Basin Station and the San Bernardino County Rural Crimes Task Force were among the law enforcement agencies to serve the warrant. Animal control officers from Yucca Valley and San Bernardino County, as well as code and building enforcement officials also responded to assist with the removal of the animals.

  • An emaciated horse rescued from a home in Yucca Valley is show in images shared by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department in this undated photo
  • An emaciated horse rescued from a home in Yucca Valley is show in images shared by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department in this undated photo
  • An emaciated horse rescued from a home in Yucca Valley is show in images shared by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department in this undated photo
  • An emaciated horse rescued from a home in Yucca Valley is show in images shared by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department in this undated photo
  • An emaciated horse rescued from a home in Yucca Valley is show in images shared by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department in this undated photo

In total, seven horses, more than 30 dogs, 15 cats and 20 guinea pigs were removed from the property and transferred to animal control after authorities determined McMillan was unable to properly care for the animals.

Many of the animals were suffering from clear signs of neglect and malnutrition, the Sheriff’s Department said. Photos from the scene showed several horses who appeared to be abnormally thin and in poor health.

McMillan has no prior offenses, the Sheriff’s Department said, and she was released at the scene. She could face possible charges for animal abuse, officials said.

The animals have since received treatment by veterinarians and the Sheriff’s Department said it intends to seek “judicial intervention” to allow the animals to be adopted rather than returned to their owner.

Anyone with information related to this ongoing investigation is asked to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Morongo Basin Station at 760-366-4175. You can also submit an anonymous tip online.