Framework

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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works has issued a notice to owners to relocate their horses by Sunday from a stable in Willowbrook, where a fire killed four animals in June.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Control officers document how many horses are still awaiting relocation.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control officer Sheri Koenig, accompanied by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, checks to see which horses are still awaiting relocation.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Michael Johnson, right, who grew up riding horses at the stable and also raised his children riding there, visits the site to reminisce.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Furniture and odd items are left behind after a recent fire that killed three horses and a goat.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

A rooster wanders about some charred remains from last month's fire.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Calvin Gray dances atop his horse outside of the stable.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Jose Trujillo, left, and Jesus Garcia, who both help care for horses at the stable, rest in the shade. Property owners have agreed to tear down and rebuild the stables to comply with county regulations.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Jose Trujillo wrangles a loose foal on 132nd Street on July 1, two days after signs were posted by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works allowing horse owners restricted access to relocate their horses from the stable in Willowbrook.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

A mare watches over her foal resting in the dirt at the stable in Willowbrook.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Gonzalo Berumen spends time on July 1 at the stable where he keeps three horses. Berumen and other owners were told to evacuate their horses from the stable by Sunday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Horse owner Gregory Jackson walks his horse through the Willowbrook stable where a fire killed three horses and a goat. Stable workers say the facility will rebuild in compliance with Los Angeles County regulations.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

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Stable fire puts property in spotlight

As Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies try to determine what started a fire that killed three horses and a goat at a stable in Willowbrook last month, they join a number of other investigators who have been called to the property to examine potential wrongdoing.

Over the last five years, county officials have issued more than 100 citations for alleged animal abuse, unlicensed buildings, drug possession and other violations that have occurred on the property. In 2007, county prosecutors threatened to file charges against the property’s owner, Nickolas J. Tokaruk, if he did not fix a host of problems. The June fire prompted the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to agree to impose new regulations on the property.

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