The auction held on January 27th was much busier than the week before, most likely due to improved weather conditions. The flooding observed previously in the pen area was also much improved, however, the pens continued to be covered in thick mud.
The condition of the dairy cows was once again incredibly poor. It was also noted that no water or food was provided to them.
Inside the covered pen area, a group of nine horses, some of them ponies, were waiting to be sold. They were divided into two pens and neither pen had access to any water.
At 3:15 p.m., investigators observed CA horse trader Don Gatz arrive with his white Dodge. He immediately pulled into the back of the pen area next to the manure clean-out. It was obvious that Gatz was trying to avoid being seen at the sale. There were already horses inside his trailer, and investigators could hear the animals kicking the trailer sides from quite a distance.
Like the sale the week previous, horses were the last animals to be sold; the horse sale started at 4:55 p.m. All but two of the horses went to Gatz. He bought a sorrel stud for $500, a pony for $150, a large gelding for $200, a ranch horse for $370, a large strawberry roan for $750, and two thin horses for $100 and $250.
After the sale, Gatz waited to load until most of the auction visitors had left. AA will continue to monitor this sale and report all violations to local and California state enforcement agencies.