BRENTWOOD -- Almost a year ago, Antioch animal control investigators discovered an emaciated horse hidden in a metal garage filled with feces, flies and urine.
Jazmine, the chestnut Arabian mare with a white stripe down her muzzle and protruding ribs, wobbled when she walked due to her neglect on the small Antioch ranch. Her former owner was eventually arrested, and some of his dozens of animals survived and were adopted out -- except Jazmine.
On Wednesday, the 18-year-old horse finally found a home. She was picked up by Redwings Horse Sanctuary to be taken to a sprawling pasture, where she will live out her final years.
"I feel really good about her going there; it's not some wishy-washy place," said Monika Helgemo, Antioch animal services supervisor. "She will live out her life on the sanctuary, and I'm really excited about that."
Jazmine is headed to the horse rescue's 167-acre Lockwood ranch in southern Monterey County.
"As far as we're concerned, Jazmine is exactly the kind of horse we are here to take care of," said Linda Plumb, Redwings executive director. "Clearly, Jazmine suffered mightily at the hands of mankind. We're thrilled to give her the love she dearly deserves."
Since her rescue from the Antioch ranch, Jazmine has been nursed back to health on a Brentwood ranch owned by Antioch police officer Loren Bledsoe. He and his wife, Corinna, fostered the horse while Helgemo worked to find her a permanent home.
"A lot of people wanted her for riding, and a lot of people wanted her healthy. She is healthy, but she has leg issues," Helgemo said.
Her bum ankles, caused from poor nutrition, means she cannot be ridden, and that caused potential adopters to drop out, she said.
"One lady wanted her as a pasture mate for her riding horse, but she lived in the hills and mountains that were too treacherous for Jazmine," Helgemo said.
She also received calls from horse lovers warning her to keep an eye out for horse "rescues" that actually take the animals to slaughterhouses.
Jazmine's former owner Jose Godinez -- charged with two felony counts of animal abuse in what Antioch law enforcement called one of the city's worst cases -- has an Aug. 27 preliminary hearing.
All along, Redwings, which cares for 80 horses on its Lockwood ranch and six on its satellite ranch, kept a space open for Jazmine, and the timing worked out, Plumb said.
"She's going to have plenty of space to roam, very good medical care ... and she'll have company and friends," Plumb said. "She's going to get the kind of attention we think every animal deserves."
Contact Matthias Gafni at 925-952-5026. Follow him at Twitter.com/mgafni.