RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Officials with Riverside County Animal Services said Wednesday that a jury found a Murrieta woman guilty on 17 counts of animal cruelty involving neglect of horses.
Janice Deutsch is scheduled to be in court for a sentencing hearing on Thursday in Riverside County Superior Court’s Southwest Justice Center.
Authorities said she remains in custody of the Sheriff’s Department because Deutsch is serving time for a prior conviction in an elder abuse case.
Riverside County Animal Services seized the 17 horses from a property in the unincorporated community of La Cresta in 2011.
Animal Services said Deutsch failed repeated mandates by animal control officers to properly care for the animals.
The horses were severely underweight.
Deutsch failed to feed the horses regularly, or with enough hay, causing all the horses to show signs of severe malnutrition.
In addition to being found guilty on the cruelty charges, Riverside County Animal Services says they are seeking more than $200,000 in restitution for the boarding and care of the seized horses.
The county cared for the horses for more than a year until the court ruled that the animals could be adopted or sent to rescue group organizations.
All but one of the horses was adopted or rescued. One was claimed by a former Deutsch business partner.
The horses made a full recovery.