BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Dozens of Bakersfield residents have been worried for months over three horses that they believe were mistreated by their owners.
According to residents who travel up to the Posey mountain area, one horse, who was found in a ditch on Saturday, had to be put down. Residents also said they believed the remaining two horses at the camp looked to be severely malnourished.
"Its heart breaking to see this horse laying there nickering at you and you know he's going to die," said resident Judy Temple.
The horses belong to an organization known as the Los Angeles Destiny Center who were looking to start a summer camp for inner city kids this summer.
One of the founders of the center, Wanda Clemmons, said the horses were going to be used to teach the children about science and what it takes to care for a horse.
"We are here to do the work of god and help our kids," Clemmons said. "We have 15 bales of hay and oats on grounds to feed the horses."
According to residents 23ABC spoke to, they say many people in the area have tried to help the horses by feeding them on a daily basis.
Resident Judy Temple said she had rarely seen the owners home and believes the horses would go without food for long periods of time.
Although Clemmons said her son lives on camp grounds and takes care of the horses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Resident said they have tried to contact Tulare Animal Control services for months, but up until last weekend they were ignored.
"There should have been plenty of time in three months to do whatever they had to do to either get custody of the animal or get them some help," said resident Misty Clark.
Tim Lutz with the Tulare Animal Control said officers went out to the camp on January 7th, but could not determine whether or not the horses were being mistreated without an expert veterinarian inspection.
On Friday, animal control showed up at Camp Destiny and took the horses away. An expert vet that was on scene during the investigation said one horse appeared to be at least 100 pounds underweight while the other at least 200 pounds underweight.
"Its very alarming its very disturbing. Of course I didn't want to have a criminal charge against me, but I am willing to face those charges and show that I'm not cruel to animals," said Clemmons.
The Los Angeles Destiny Center could face animal cruelty charges.
The Tulare County Animal Control Services are currently investigating the situation.