News briefs from California’s Central Coast Posted on Thu, Sep. 25, 2003 Associated Press BUELLTON, Calif. (AP) – County investigators raided Slick Gardner’s horse ranch again to begin seizure of at least 100 allegedly neglected wild mustangs. A team of about 20 Santa Barbara County investigators, accompanied by wild horse wranglers and veterinarians, showed up at the ranch Wednesday to remove the horses. About a dozen horses were transferred to local ranches by the end of the day. It was the second wave of raids at the Gardner ranch, where about 600 wild horses roam. The raid was part evidence-gathering of alleged neglect and abuse and part rescue effort. The latest operation, expected to last several days, is nearly identical to a Sept. 4 raid that transferred 70 of the sickest horses, mostly mares and foals, to a local sanctuary. Two horses died several days after their transfer to Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary. Gardner attorney Steve Balash had sought an administrative hearing Wednesday to decide whether the county can keep the horses that were removed Sept. 4. The second raid was a surprise to Gardner, the lawyers said. “He is utterly baffled,” Balash said. “He is feeding the horses, he does have people working out there.” District Attorney Thomas Sneddon said there was evidence some of the horses weren’t being fed properly. “What are we supposed to do, just sit around and wait because there’s a hearing set? He’s upset? Well, that’s life,” Sneddon said. Five months ago, county Animal Services began an animal cruelty investigation after receiving complaints that Gardner wasn’t feeding his wild horses, which were gathered in Nevada by the federal Bureau of Land Management. :nav Source: [url=http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/6858563.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp]Monterey Herald[/url] // MJJF


BUELLTON, Calif. (AP) – County investigators raided Slick Gardner’s horse ranch again to begin seizure of at least 100 allegedly neglected wild mustangs. A team of about 20 Santa Barbara County investigators, accompanied by wild horse wranglers and veterinarians, showed up at the ranch Wednesday to remove the horses. About a dozen horses were transferred to local ranches by the end of the day. It was the second wave of raids at the Gardner ranch, where about 600 wild horses roam. The raid was part evidence-gathering of alleged neglect and abuse and part rescue effort. The latest operation, expected to last several days, is nearly identical to a Sept. 4 raid that transferred 70 of the sickest horses, mostly mares and foals, to a local sanctuary. Two horses died several days after their transfer to Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary. Gardner attorney Steve Balash had sought an administrative hearing Wednesday to decide whether the county can keep the horses that were removed Sept. 4. The second raid was a surprise to Gardner, the lawyers said. “He is utterly baffled,” Balash said. “He is feeding the horses, he does have people working out there.” District Attorney Thomas Sneddon said there was evidence some of the horses weren’t being fed properly. “What are we supposed to do, just sit around and wait because there’s a hearing set? He’s upset? Well, that’s life,” Sneddon said. Five months ago, county Animal Services began an animal cruelty investigation after receiving complaints that Gardner wasn’t feeding his wild horses, which were gathered in Nevada by the federal Bureau of Land Management. :nav Source: http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/6858563.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp


Horse ranch hearing begins Matt Cota Santa Barbara, CA, Oct. 1 – Over the past month, 167 wild horses have been seized from the Gardner Ranch in Buellton, and the lead investigator in the case described some of the conditions she observed at the ranch at a hearing in Santa Barbara. “I observed hazardous fencing, hazardous enclosures, debris, broken boards, overcrowding, feed not spread out enough,” says investigator Laura Cleaves. Cleaves supervised the roundup at Slick Gardner’s ranch in Buellton, and claims many of the horses were malnourished and action needed to be taken immediately, or many of the wild horses would die. A veterinarian hired by Santa Barbara County also testified that many of the wild horses brought to Gardner Ranch from Nevada were taking a turn for the worse. Now that the horses have been removed, Gardner could have to pay for the costs of the raid, and even if charges aren’t filed, the horses may never be returned to Gardner’s ranch. “Mr. Gardner is not entitled to have the horses returned to him,” says prosecutor Mag Nicola. (Remember that name, folks) However, Gardner’s defense attorney says the horses weren’t in imminent danger, and that a legal hearing should have taken place before the seizure took place. On Thursday, a judge in Santa Maria will hear testimony about the validity of the search warrant in the case, and the hearing will continue next Thursday in Santa Barbara. While under investigation, Slick Gardner has not been arrested or charged with any crime. :nav http://www.msnbc.com/local/KSBY/M329348.asp?0LA=abc9


And why would Slick be a target of Sneddon & Co, you ask? Why politics of course! Not to mention his huge 2000 acre Ranch… Slick Gardner running for Santa Barbara County’s 3rd District supervisor Culture Clash County Split Looms Large Over Third District Race By Nick Welsh {photos by Paul Wellman} Even in the best of times, running for the county’s 3rd District supervisor is a hellacious undertaking. But for any candidate unfortunate enough to actually get elected, trying to govern is often much, much worse. Of the county’s five districts, residents of the 3rd are by far the most angry, mobilized, demanding, resentful, and suspicious of county government — and even more so of each other. That’s because the 3rd encompasses both UCSB’s student ghettos of Isla Vista, an ever-hormonal eruption of humanity, and the staid, storybook neighborhoods of Goleta located right next door. It includes some of the most industrialized outcroppings along the county’s coast and some of the most magnificent stretches of unsullied coastline in all of California. Further north, the vineyards and ranches of the Santa Ynez Valley epitomize a radiant rural beauty that draws upscale urban refugees by the score, who, as they alter the area by their mere presence, ferociously resist the forces of further change. But sadly for the four candidates now aspiring to represent the 3rd Supervisorial District — John Buttny, Brooks Firestone, Steve Pappas, and Slick Gardner — these are hardly the best of times. As California wrestles with its multibillion-dollar budget deficit, Santa Barbara County confronts a $24 million shortfall. As the state has recently demanded the county accommodate up to 17,000 new housing units in response to population growth real and anticipated, most 3rd District communities have issued the angry hue and cry, “Not in my back yard.” And while the vineyards have quietly changed the face of valley agriculture over the past 10 years, the Chumash Casino is moving noisily to establish itself as an economic dynamo, drawing crowds and cars in volumes both profitable and alarming. But such threats to the 3rd District’s peace of mind pale in comparison to the distinct possibility that Santa Barbara County might soon be split in two, with the fault line at Gaviota Pass. Santa Maria developers, led by James Diani, have decided they don’t want a truce; they want a divorce. To this end, they’re seeking to tap into the county’s general weariness over the tug of war between the environmentally minded urbanites to the south and the rural-minded agrarians to the north. Thus far, they have managed to collect enough signatures to compel not just a massive study on the economic feasibility of such a separation, but also an election on whether to create a new Mission County. Most likely, that election will be held sometime in 2006. The prospect has not merely colored the current 3rd District race — it defines it. It is the recurring theme that three out of the four candidates running for office return to when not answering questions about widening Highway 101, the budget crunch, or the housing crisis. Hardly surprising. Since 1992, the 3rd District — the swing seat on the Board of Supervisors — has been the battleground of choice between the warring factions. And in no other district are these competing values so vehemently felt and equally matched. Strikingly, all four candidates oppose the county split. They disagree sharply, however, over the extent to which the split poses a real threat, how best to defeat it, and who is best equipped to address the underlying tensions out of which it sprang. :nav Source: Santa Barbara Independent


PETA DEMANDS JAIL TIME, PSYCHIATRIC INTERVENTION IF ALLEGED BUELLTON HORSE ABUSER IS CONVICTED ——————————————————————————– For Immediate Release: April 20, 2004 Contact: Daniel Paden 757-622-7382 This morning, PETA fired off a letter to Senior Deputy District Attorney Mag Nicola, urging him to vigorously prosecute Slick Gardner of Buellton. Gardner faces multiple felony charges stemming from authorities’ reported September 2003 discovery of up to 167 malnourished horses, deprived of sustenance and shelter, on his ranch off Highway 246. According to news sources, the rescue was the culmination of officials’ six-month investigation of the property—where an additional 300 or more horses are said to remain—following concerned neighbors’ reports of thin and frail animals languishing there. Gardner is scheduled to answer these charges in court tomorrow, April 21. “People who demonstrate such blatant disregard for life and desensitization to suffering can pose a serious risk to the people and animals with whom they come in contact,” says PETA Cruelty Caseworker Daniel Paden. “Mental health professionals and top law-enforcement officials consider cruelty to animals to be a red flag.” PETA is asking that—if convicted and in addition to a period of incarceration—Gardner be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling. PETA is also urging authorities to seize any other animals currently in Gardner’s custody and to prohibit him from owning or harboring animals in the future. For more information, please visit HelpingAnimals.com. PETA’s letter to Senior Deputy District Attorney Mag Nicola follows. April 20, 2004 Mag Nicola, Senior Deputy District Attorney Office of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney 312-D E. Cook St. Santa Maria, CA 93454 Dear Mr. Nicola: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the world’s largest animal rights organization, with more than 800,000 members and supporters dedicated to animal protection. This letter concerns a recent case of cruelty to animals that your office is handling, involving Slick Gardner, 57, of Buellton. Gardner faces multiple felony charges stemming from authorities’ reported September 2003 discovery of up to 167 malnourished horses, deprived of sustenance and shelter, on his ranch off Highway 246. According to news sources, the rescue was the culmination of officials’ six-month investigation of the property¯where an additional 300 or more horses are said to remain¯following concerned neighbors’ reports of thin, frail animals languishing there. We understand that Gardner is scheduled to answer these charges in court tomorrow, April 21. Mental health professionals and top law-enforcement officials consider the blatant disregard for life and desensitization to suffering evidenced by all forms of cruelty to be a red flag. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the FBI uses reports of these crimes in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals. Experts agree that it is the severity of the behavior, not the species of the victim, that matters. On behalf of our thousands of members in California, we respectfully ask that, upon conviction and in addition to a period of incarceration, Slick Gardner be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling at his expense—the safety of the community may depend on it. Because repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers and given Gardner’s apparent, prolonged, and utter disregard for the lives and suffering of animals in his custody, we implore your office to take every measure necessary to ensure that he is barred from all future contact with animals and to carefully monitor the condition of those who remain in his charge. Thank you for your diligence in this matter and for your time and consideration. Do not hesitate to contact me directly at extension 8231 if you have any questions or if our office can be of further assistance. Sincerely, Daniel Paden, Cruelty Caseworker Domestic Animal Issues & Abuse Department :nav Source: http://www.peta.org/Automation/NewsItem.asp?id=4282

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *