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Neglected animals lead to possible criminal charges

Published On: Nov 18 2013 09:22:42 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 18 2013 02:00:00 AM CST
CORNING, Calif. -

A Corning woman is looking at possible charges for allegedly neglecting animals in her care.

Roberta Draper had four horses, at least four dogs, a couple cats, seven chickens, a sheep and a goat seized from her home on Nov. 8.

"These horses were just right around that severely underweight, emaciated stage," explains Christine McClintock, Tehama County Animal Care Center manager.

The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office says they are familiar with Draper. Their office confirms that she does have several past charges of animal cruelty.

KRCR News Channel 7 aired photos of the malnourished horses last month. A group of women were fighting to get the horses fed, and the care they need.

"It's hard to see, especially because horses are so big. To lose that much weight, it takes so long to get to that point, you know, they were in rough conditions and being underfed for a long period of time. So, that's something hard to see,” says McClintock.

Now that the animals are out of Draper’s care, the Tehama County District Attorney will decide whether or not to press charges.

We went to talk to Draper, and get her side of the story. A woman inside the fence of the address where Draper lives told us the allegations were a lie. We left a business card for Draper to contact us, but she never did.

“It's not something where they suddenly just dropped 20 pounds. These guys are two to three hundred pounds underweight, and that can be very frustrating to witness," says McClintock.

While the D.A. ponders the case, the animals will still need round the clock care.

"We've been able to foster most of them out. Unfortunately, we have to hold them as evidence, so they can't go to a new home permanently until everything is concluded," explains McClintock. Which could mean the animals could spend months living at the Tehama County Animal Care Center.

If you’d like to help feed these animals, contact the Tehama County Animal Care Center at (530) 527-3439.

McClintock says they are in need of food donations for the horse, dogs and cats.