On June 9, 2019, at around 1:45 pm, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office received a call to assist California Department of Fish and Wildlife on an animal abuse call.
Deputy Ian Roth met Game Warden Watkins of CA Department Of Fish & Wildlife at a residence in the 10000 block of Avenue 14 in Madera County.
Game Warden Watkins informed Deputy Roth that during a routine patrol of the San Joaquin River that day, he had observed a horse, believed to be deceased, lying in tall weeds near a dirt road in the area.
Game Warden Watkins drove Deputy Roth to the location of the horse, who was found lying on its side, unable to move despite attempts to lift its head upon hearing the two men approach.
The horse’s condition was immediately recognized as dire- the frame of the horse, along with its hips, legs, ribs and spine, were visible.
The horse was covered in flies in every orifice, including its mouth and nose. The horse had labored breathing and was looking around out of desperation.
Upon arrival at the scene, Madera County Animal Control Officer Gray advised that the horse was in a deteriorated state as a result of long term malnourishment and neglect.
Gray advised that the horse would need to be humanely euthanized due to its condition.
During the course of the investigation, an adult occupant of the residence was identified as the owner of the horse.
Axel Herrera Martinez 20-year-old was arrested and booked in at the Madera County Department of Corrections on felony charges of animal cruelty.