Loomis mayor seeks sanctuary for horse rescues

Proposal to use Loomis Marketplace denied
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Mayor Gary Liss is searching for 5 to 10 acres of land to establish a temporary horse sanctuary in Loomis. “The horses have the need now. There are horses waiting to be rescued,” Liss said. Liss, an equestrian, recently presented a 27-page proposal to Bank of The West. Liss proposed to use 15 acres of the bank’s 65-acre property as a temporary sanctuary for 20 to 30 rescued horses. The property, known as Loomis Marketplace, is located at Interstate 80 and Horseshoe Bar Road, behind the park-and-ride lot. Steve Chamberlain, senior vice president with Colliers International brokers representing Bank of the West, said Monday the bank denied the request. “Attorneys for the bank said there is too much liability,” Chamberlain said. Liss was disappointed with the bank’s decision. “We believed it would be a good thing for both us and the bank,” Liss said. Proponents stated in their proposal that NorCal Equine Rescue of Loomis would benefit the property owners because NorCal would provide enhanced property security, on-site monitoring and maintenance, regular fire prevention and weed control and “eyes on site” to minimize illegal dumping and vandalism. The proposal also stated NorCal would have liability insurance and would vacate the property quickly when the time came. “Now, it may be time to look for another site,” Liss said. He said he will convene a meeting of the 40 supporters of the rescue facility. “Our big choice will be to go for a different site, wait for a new owner of the Loomis Marketplace property, or not do the project at all,” Liss said. John Kintz, a local horse owner, is one of the supporters of a rescue facility in Loomis. “Rescue is a great thing. People come to my gate all the time and ask if I want a free horse,” said Kintz, who keeps his horses on property located on Horseshoe Bar Road. He explained that horses are expensive to care for and during tough economic times some horse owners just can’t afford the upkeep. “It costs $125 per month for feed, shots and shoes for each horse. Plus, boarding can cost another $200 a month,” Kintz said. According to Kintz, horses are being abandoned on private property, left tied to gates and he even knew of a case where two horses were loaded and left in someone’s horse trailer. Kintz said equine rescue facilities provide an alternative to the slaughterhouse for unwanted horses. Liss said the Loomis rescue group would be affiliated with NorCal Equine Rescue, “a successful, well-established and respected nonprofit equine rescue organization located in Oroville.” For more information about NorCal Equine Rescue, contact Liss at 652-7850.