California Valley ranch again raided for animals



San Luis Obispo County Animal Services raided a California Valley ranch on Sept. 17, confiscating an assortment of animals due to neglect, said a SLO Sheriff spokesman.

The owner of the animals and the ranch is Neal Smith, who happened to be in the hospital getting a double lung transplant during the first raid in May. Smith was returning from another hospital stay because of complications with his double transplant when he again found an animal control raid in progress.

“They never called or tried to speak with me beforehand,” Smith said. “They just broke in and never showed me a warrant.”

Six pot-bellied pigs and several dozen sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys were seized.

An animal control officer was making a routine check and saw a farm animal with its head caught in a fence, and then found other animals which lacked water and had other health issues, said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Rob Bryn.

The animals are being held in the county animal shelter.

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