An adoption viewing event will be hosted at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds on Dec. 15 to find new homes for approximately 30 horses that were seized from a property in Valley Springs in August.

A collaborative effort from fairgrounds staff, Calaveras County Animal Services and Friends of Calaveras Animal Services (FOCAS), the event will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and allow prospective adopters to view the horses, ask questions, and fill out adoption applications, Animal Services Director Evan Jacobs told the Enterprise.

The studs, which will all be gelded before they are released to new homes, can be adopted at a fee of $300, while mares will go for $150.

Most of the mares are pregnant and need owners who can provide adequate care, Jacobs said. Additionally, all of the horses are “somewhat wild” and should go to owners who can work with them for a long period of time.

The horses will not be released to new homes during the Dec. 15 event, as all adoptions must be approved following a background check and home inspection.

“We want to do our due diligence and make sure these horses find good homes,” Jacobs said. “Last thing we want to do is put these animals into the same type of predicament or worse.”

The herd of horses, some of which were described as “starving” when they were seized, have been cared for by fairgrounds employees with funding from Animal Services and FOCAS, as well as donations from the public.

“Animal Services does not currently have a budget for this type of seizure,” Jacobs said. “The county has tracked the expenses for the horses, and we will go to midyear with what we have spent and ask that we can get that money to pay for it so that it doesn’t hurt the overall budget of Animal Services.”

Jacobs said fairgrounds staff have been a “great partner” in caring for the horses over the past few months, but the barns must be cleared by Jan. 31 so that employees can move forward with preparations for the 2020 fair.

Animal Services will have to seek out foster homes for the remaining horses if all are not adopted by that deadline.

The Calaveras County Fairgrounds are located at 2465 Gun Club Road in Angels Camp.


Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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