SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A beloved Poway tradition is facing accusations of animal cruelty and breaking the law.
A lawsuit filed this week claims horses were illegally shocked in the 2018 Poway Rodeo to cause them to buck wildly for crowds.
Two animal activist groups filed the suit; Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) and Animal Protection and Rescue League (APRL).
Investigators with SHARK captured video during the 2018 Poway Rodeo, which they say proves an illegal device was used. The video appears to show someone with the rodeo shocking a horse in the holding chute just before releasing them into the rodeo arena.
California law outlaws an electric prod or similar device from being used on any animal once the animal is in the holding chute, unless necessary to protect the participants and spectators of the rodeo.
The plaintiffs are seeking a temporary restraining order before September's rodeo in hopes to get a court order preventing these devices from used.
The animal groups notified the San Diego Humane Society of the alleged abuse, but humane law officers say they got the complaint too late to do a proper investigation. The Humane Society tells 10News their officers will have a heightened presence in this year's September rodeo.
10News reached out to the Poway Rodeo for comment and received this response:
The Poway Rodeo was only served with this complaint today and our legal representatives have not had a chance to review it. However, our policy is that we do not comment on pending litigation.The Poway Rodeo is a PRCA-sanctioned rodeo that fully complies with all laws of the State of California, the City of Poway and the PRCA.