Vista Resident Pleads Guilty to Animal Neglect Charges

San Diego Humane Society Leads Animal Cruelty Investigation for Neglected Horse

SAN DIEGO – January 8, 2015  |  On December 16, a Vista resident plead guilty to misdemeanor 597 P.C. charges of animal cruelty for extreme neglect of a thoroughbred horse. San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Officers responded after receiving calls of concern from the community about a horse, Princessa, in very poor condition. After a routine welfare check, Humane Officers seized Princessa and began an intensive investigation.

“The neglect that Princessa suffered from was extreme emaciation and malnutrition,” said Chief Stephen MacKinnon, San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement. “She was housed in a small shed with little to no access to light. When we seized Princessa, she had severe skeletal protrusion and she was losing clumps of hair at a time. She was in desperate need of care.”

The perpetrator has been sentenced to probation, ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, and will be unable to own another horse.


“We take these instances of animal abuse and neglect very seriously and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law when intentional acts of cruelty have occurred,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society. “It’s so important to bring these people to justice on behalf of the animals, who cannot defend themselves.”

After months of nutritional care and rehabilitation at San Diego Humane Society, Princessa reached a healthy weight. On December 6, she was transferred to Falcon Ridge Equine Rescue for continued care and rehabilitation for concerning behaviors that are likely due to the abuse she endured.

Weitzman continues, “It costs us about $500 per month to care for one horse, so community support is crucial for us to be able to give these animals the second chance they deserve.”

Animal-related concerns can be submitted on San Diego Humane Society’s website, or by calling 619-299-7012.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Kelli Schry at [email protected].



About San Diego Humane Society

Serving San Diego County since 1880, San Diego Humane Society’s scope of social responsibility goes beyond adopting animals. San Diego Humane Society offers San Diegans a wide range of programs and services that strengthen the human-animal bond, prevent cruelty/neglect, provide medical care, educate the community on the humane treatment of animals and provide safety net services for all pet families needing assistance with keeping their pets.

As one of San Diego’s oldest nonprofit organizations, San Diego Humane Society has campuses located in Escondido, Oceanside, and San Diego as well as adoption centers inside Petco stores throughout San Diego County. San Diego Humane Society is supported solely through contributions, grants, bequests, investments, proceeds from the Muttique retail store and small fees for services.