Break-ins and thefts are blow to local horse rescue

Break-ins and thefts are blow to local horse rescue »Play Video

TWIN OAKS, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A rescue organization east of Bakersfield tries to save horses, but that work just got harder after thieves broke in and stole most of their gear.

The Angulo family, which owns Equine Rescue Outakuntrol, says horse training gear, personal riding equipment and even family gifts were stolen from the facility in the Twin Oaks area on Dec. 20.
Christine Angulo says the tack barn, hay barn, and the organization's office were all ransacked.
"All of our rescue horse training gear, all of their halters, ropes, everything. Just everything is gone," she told Eyewitness News.
Daughter Ally Angulo also lost a saddle she'd won as a rodeo princess several years ago.
"It just breaks my heart to even think about it," she said. "I'm crying already."
The saddle is customized, but also stolen were special clothes and even jewelry she's worn in competitions.
In the nearby hay barn, the thieves pawed through a storage room and made off with 45 halters used for the rescue horses. Christine Angulo said one was found dropped on the ground, that's all that's left.
The family has six rescue horses right now. Their facility is in Twin Oaks off Caliente Creek Road.
Angulo says her small office was also broken into, and the thieves took a new computer, and a number of bridles, bits and spurs.
Asked who would steal these things, Angulo thinks it'll be sold off someplace.
And, the family has heard that ranching equipment has been stolen from other places near theirs. It's an area that's quiet and rural, with a creek bed next to the road, and cattle on the road in several places.
"Yeah, you feel safe, but not after this," Angulo said.
She's seen ads in the local newspaper offering rewards for stolen ranching gear, and she's also going to put an ad in this week.
It was Ally and her teenage brother who got home on the school bus and discovered the break-in.
"I was really scared, because it was just me and my brother," she said.
The two called their folks, called sheriff deputies, and started looking around.
"We even found a foot print," Ally said. And they spotted what they think was a tire track.
Christine Angulo says she was baffled by the safety advice from the sheriff's deputy who responded.
"Cameras and lights," she said. "Flood lights. And I was puzzled with that, because it happened in the broad daylight." She thinks the area should put together a "neighborhood watch."
The family says they'll keep working to save horses, and now they need even more help from volunteers and donations.
Equine Rescue Outakuntrol is a non-profit with 501(C)(3) status.
But, the theft is a blow to its work to save animals, and a blow to their way of life.
"It's devastating, it just makes me sick to my stomach," Christine Angulo said.
"Now, like everything's gone, and I can't even go riding if I wanted to," Ally said. "My heart is broken, 'cause this is like my way of life -- is my horses."