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Mira Loma Man Accused Of Horse Cruelty, Running Cockfighting Operation

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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MIRA LOMA (CBS/AP) —  A Mira Loma man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of animal cruelty involving a horse and a possible cockfighting operation.

Officials said the horse had been so neglected it had to be euthanized.

Francisco Javier Ponce, 40, is also suspected of running a cockfighting operation at his residence in the 6000 block of Marlatt Street, where Riverside County Animal Services officers seized more than 100 roosters and cockfighting implements.

According to Animal Services Public Information Officer John Welsh the illegal cocks were also euthanized. He described them as being “squeezed” into pens.

Animal Services received a tip today that a horse on Ponce’s property was suffering from injuries that jeopardized its health, Welsh said.

“When animal control officers arrived, they found the injured horse … (with) ruptured tendons in its back right leg,” Welsh said.

Animal Services Chief Veterinarian Dr. Allan Drusys was called in to euthanize the horse, with Ponce’s consent, according to Welsh.

The suspect was taken into custody by a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, Welsh said. Bail information was not immediately available.

Animal Services will ask the District Attorney’s Office to file charges connected with both the horse and birds, Welsh said.

Welsh said some of the birds were found in boxes and bags suspecting the owner might have been preparing them for transport.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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