“Are you from the newspaper?”
“Uhmhumn, I am.”
“Hello, I’m Anne Delaquadra.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“Are you with the Ukiah paper?”
“No, the one in Boonville.”
“Listen, you’ve got to hear my story.”
“That’s what I’m here for. What are the charges against you?”
“The charges against me are false!”
“Yes, but what are they?”
“They are false! The Sheriff’s Office and Animal Control — it’s all run by a mafia cartel — they’re chasing me, they follow me everywhere I go, trying to steal and kill my horses. I have an Arabian stud, and they’re all after it!”
“Madam, please be so good as to delete the felicitous equine feces.”
“I said cut the happy horse shit. The unhappy horseshit, too.”
The mafia cartels run practically everything in Mendocino County – ever since I came here in September of ’08 I’ve been told this by people in trouble with the law – so I was not as shocked as Ms. Delaquadra obviously expected me to be, to learn that all the landowners from Laytonville to Redwood Valley who have allowed Ms. Delaquadra to board her herd of famished and neglected saddle horses on their property are mafia types in control of the Sheriff’s Office, and that they are all plotting to get their greedy hands on these pitiful animals.
“All rise… The Superior Court of California in and for the County of Mendocino is now in session, the Honorable Ann Moorman presiding, please be seated and come to order.”
“Good morning, your honor.”
“Calling the Delaquadra matter, Ms. Delaquadra, please step forward.”
“Heidi Larson of the Public Defender’s Office, appearing for Ms. Delaquadra, who is coming forward.”
“Elizabeth Norman for the People.”
“Call your first witness, Ms. Norman.”
Sergeant James Wells took the stand and related how he’d been contacted by Andrew Hilkey on May 31, 2017, to report an incident involving a foal with a broken leg. Ms. Delaquadra had been evicted from the property in Willits at 821 East Hill Road, and had found two teenage girls to help move the horses. The girls brought their boyfriends, one of whom used a bullwhip to get the emaciated horses moving.
All day, from about 8:00 in the morning to 9:45 at night, the horses had been chased and harried in this cruel fashion – nobody seemed to have thought of jingling a bucket of oats to lure the starving creatures into the horse trailer. But of course there were no oats, no alfalfa pellets, not even a flake of cheap grass hay, and that’s why Ms. Delaquadra was told to take her horses and get out after the pasture had been eaten down.
It was 9:45 at night, but still light. The horses were exhausted to the point of shambling and stumbling along when one poor foal fell and broke a leg, the left forefoot. The kids immediately tackled it, piled on to keep it from getting away – as if it could. Then they tried to put a splint on the broken leg. This was no more absurd an idea than bringing a bullwhip to wrangle horses.
It was at about this time that Sgt. Wells arrived with his deputies and the teenagers learned Delaquadra’s identity. She had lied to the youngsters about her name in order to get them to volunteer because by then she’d become infamous on Facebook for animal cruelty and neglect. The young ‘uns wanted to help and were easily duped by Delaquadra into their subsequent blunders.
Delaquadra tried her you-have-to-help-me arts on Sgt. Wells, telling him it was his duty to call a vet and pay for the care of her fatally injured horse. Wells answered her with a terse dose of reality, that her horses were her responsibility. Meanwhile, Deputy Matt Croskey, whose wife is County Supervisor Georgeanne Croskey, and a large animal veterinarian, did what humanely had to be done with the foal. Another shot of reality, but not enough to clear the illusions from Delaquadra’s otherwise empty head. She refused to say where the horses were being removed to.
It turned out to be a Reeves Canyon property, where Delaquadra had used her wiles on the caretaker, Steven Erickson, to secure a pasture where she could board her skeletal brood mares and stallion. Fancying herself a horse breeder with enlightened notions of letting the horses breed like they would in the wild, she turned the stallion in with the mares and soon had two more dead foals. She asked Mr. Erickson to drag the first dead foal off into the woods so the Sheriff’s mafia cartel couldn’t Facebook blame her for more abuse and neglect if they knew about it.
A neighbor of the Reeves Canyon property, Teresa Moore, was appalled at the condition of the horses. She’d taken some photos of the starved mares and the dead and dying foals. Mr. Erickson was soon fired as caretaker, and those awful tools of the mafia cartel, the Animal Control Officers, had somehow tracked poor innocent Anne Delaquadra down again, and were still trying to steal her horses and file false charges against her! Is there no Justice in the world!?
On December 21st – the longest night of the year – Teresa Moore, who could hardly afford to be giving away hay she’d bought for her own horse, fed the starving Delaquadra herd a few flakes of hay which they ate very quickly – the stallion and the alpha mares kicking the ones lower down the pecking order away to let them starve and die, just like they would in the wild, the way Darwin described the fittest surviving. Anne Delaquadra was probably away at some winter solstice festival walking lightly on the earth with fellow druids.
On December 22nd, Dr. Patricia Humphrey was brought to the Reeves Canyon property to evaluate the condition of the horses, because, after all, all these other people who were persecuting Delaquadra, their opinions were no better than Delaquadra’s, were they? How could their opinions be trusted? Delaquadra felt that two bales of grass hay a week was sufficient for 14 head of horses, and this was hay she was getting from charity – it had been donated to feed the horses evacuated because of the October firestorms – and Delaquadra had been using her poor-me spiel to get this hay and other donated supplies.
Dr. Humphrey’s opinion was that a bale a week per horse was only adequate, and that the 14 horses in question needed a good deal more to bring them up to snuff. She wanted somebody to go right then and there and get some hay and alfalfa pellets for the horses. But there was no truck available for this errand. Dr. Humphrey said, “I don’t think you have any business owning horses unless you have a way of moving hay around.”
“But wasn’t there in fact some hay on the premises?” Heidi Larsen asked on cross. “There was a few flakes of grass hay there, but it would have been like putting out a sandwich for a crowd of starving people – it would have caused a fight.”
The pasture had long since been eaten down to the dirt, the short rations of two bales a week, of low calorie grass hay at that, between 14 horses would have been bad enough, but there were worse problems. For one, the horses had not been wormed; and in fact they were so wormy that what little food they got did them little good. Again, in the wild, this parasite would have reduced the herd to what the food supply could maintain – two horses, the stud and the alpha mare.
Another problem was no farrier had attended to the horses’ hooves. Sure, Delaquadra could have taken a pair of nippers and a hoof rasp and kept on top of this herself – that is, if she had gentled them down and got them used to having their feet handled, which was not the case. In the wild, foraging for feed over the open plains, a horse’s hooves are kept worn down, but in a soft pasture, the hooves grow out until they look like the poor animal is wearing wooden Dutch shoes, which is extremely painful on what we humans would call the Achilles tendons.
Dr. Humphrey had a chart, a standard for horses, a scale from One to Nine, with pictures and descriptions of their physical condition from the optimal Nine, down to the almost dead, a Number One. Humphrey graded most of the mares at One, a few at Two, and the stud, who was clearly getting most of the hay, at a Five. Even had the stud got all the hay, it was only grass hay, and the worms would have kept him from going beyond the mediocre rating of a Five.
The mafia cartel, otherwise known as Animal Control, of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, next caught up with their perpetual victim, Anne Delaquadra, in Kelseyville. It was on January 3rd of this year, and they brought another evil gangland tool with them, another veterinarian, this one Dr. Kendall Willson, a graduate of Scotland’s Glasgow University, the very person who bought Dr. Croskey’s veterinary practice when she became a Supervisor.
There was one foal lying on the ground with a green diarrhea pooled around it. Dr. Willson got two liters of electrolytes into the dying filly, using an IV (intervenous) needle and got her on her feet, and after a while it was able to eat some of the poor hay Delaquadra was mooching from the donations for fire evacuees. It appeared to Willson that most of the mares were pregnant, but being too wild to catch, this couldn’t be determined with any certainty. Two of the mares had melanomas around their vulvas and anuses, untreated, and weeping sores. All perfectly natural in the wild and sure to sweep these unfortunate creatures into nature’s dust bin in the near future.
Dr. Willson had the same chart Dr. Humphrey had used, and graded the horses a bit higher than Dr. Humphrey had – and this could possibly be due to the fact that Humphrey is the vet for the American Show Horse Association, and probably had more idealistic standards as a result of being associated so closely with horses in superb fettle. Willson graded the majority as either Ones or Twos, a few at Two-and-a-half, and what must have been the alpha mare at Three. One foal, still nursing, got high marks, because all the mother’s “groceries” (as Willson styled nutritional intake) was going to make milk, while the mare herself, was barely getting by.
Deputy Scott Poma was brought in to testify how Ms. Delaquadra had mule-kicked him, having thrown a fit when she was arrested for animal cruelty.
On cross-examination, Ms. Larsen asked if it wasn’t reasonable that Ms. Delaquadra was upset over the cartel’s assessment of her horses?
“No,” Poma answered. “What she was ‘upset’ over was her idea that we were trespassing.”
Delaquadra was arrested and released the same day, after the horses had been spirited away to an undisclosed location for their own good.
Then came Deputy Stephen Gray who had been called on January 6th to the barn where the free hay was kept behind the Redwood Valley Market on a complaint that Ms. Delaquadra was stalking and intimidating the people who had given her the free hay, namely, Kate Sullivan of Sonoma Action For Equine Rescue, demanding to know where her horses were and that they be returned.
Judge Mooman, another faithful cartel gofer, bound Anne Delaquadra over for trial on the “false” charges, which I finally learned, were animal cruelty, obstructing an officer in his duties, and battery on an officer.
She remains out of custody on her own recognizance, with a restraining order in place naming Kate Sullivan as the person she must stay away from. But Delaquadra seems a tenacious and embittered enemy of the Mendo cartel, and there’s no telling what she’ll get up to next, so anyone who has had any dealings with her ought to beware.