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Monterey County Man Found Guilty In Starving Horses Case

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(Mayela Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

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SALINAS (CBS SF) – A San Lucas man was found guilty this week of failure to care for his animals after officials seized six emaciated horses from him and found another one dead nearby in 2011.

Armando Chavez, 41, was convicted Wednesday by a jury and is being held without bail in Monterey County Jail, according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.

The horses were found in a pasture on Lockwood-San Lucas Road after the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Monterey County received an anonymous tip on Jan. 6, 2011.

Six animals were found in an emaciated condition and without any food, and a seventh was found dead nearby, SPCA officials said.

Chavez, who owns a ranch in the southern part of the county, was contacted by SPCA officers the next day and admitted to owning the horses. Chavez said he had recently moved the horses to the pasture on Lockwood-San Lucas Road.

SPCA officials said this was not the first contact they had with Chavez about horses on his property.

Five of the horses, named Nutmeg, Star, Aspen, Cloud and Duke, were successfully nursed back to health and adopted into new homes, according to the organization. One horse, Sedona, was euthanized due to chronic laminitis, a painful condition that makes it difficult to walk.

Chavez was scheduled to be sentenced on April 25 by Monterey County Superior Court Judge Russell Scott, according to prosecutors.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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