Riverside horse-dumping case leads to felony cruelty arrest of two men
Two Riverside men suspected of abandoning a bruised and starving horse have been arrested in an animal-cruelty case, officials said Monday.
Witnesses reported seeing two men on horseback pulling the malnourished animal by a rope Friday evening in a grassy area near the Hidden Valley Nature Center, according to the Riverside County Animal Services Department. The men were seen leaving without the horse.
Animal services officers, aided by a Riverside Police Department helicopter, rescued the horse Friday night.
The case, officials said, underscores a growing problem in Riverside County, where animal services officers typically find an abandoned horse every week. More than 40 abandoned horses have been recovered so far this year.
The two men -- Juan Jose Hidalgo Rodarte, 50, and Cresenciano Castro Reyes, 44 -- were taken to Robert Presley Detention Center in downtown Riverside and booked on suspicion of felony animal cruelty.
— Robert J. Lopez
Photos: Abandoned horse. Cresenciano Castro Reyes, top right, and Juan Jose Hidalgo Rodarte, bottom left. Credit: Riverside County Department of Animal Services