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Athens horses, owners need new stables

July 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
La Shaun Perkins is running out of time to move her two horses out of stables in Athens.

Perkins is just one of dozens of members of a horse club called Saddle Up. Moving out of the stables I especially painful to them.

"These are my babies, and I love them, it's real mind-relaxing," she said.

The horse owners in the South Los Angeles area are being forced to move their animals out of the dilapidated stalls because the county has declared the facility unsafe.

In June, a fire tore through the stables, killing three horses. After uncovering numerous code violations, officials issued an eviction notice.

"Some of us hope and expect that the stables will be back and built constructively, and up to code, that's our wish," said horse owner Sidney Cosby.

Alex Poe is director of a program that helps young people avoid drugs and gangs. He says being around the horses has changed the lives of kids.

"Some kids are even putting their ponies in their neighbors garages because they don't have a garage. They refuse to give up their animals. They're ready to fight to keep their animals," he said.

The horse owners have been given until Sunday to leave the property, but many of them have nowhere else to take animals. The owners are hoping someone will donate funds or a facility to keep the animals together.