Camarillo Man Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty

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On Thursday, May 9th, the Humane Society of Ventura County received notification that Juan Carlos Flores Ortiz had pled guilty to Penal Code 597 - Cruelty to an Animal, for his mistreatment of two horses at a property located in Camarillo, California. Ortiz received 90 days in jail, fined, and cannot own or possess an animal for five years and must also pay restitution fees to the Humane Society of Ventura County to cover the cost of the horses care.

The two horses, Archer and Hero, were the last of six horses awaiting sentencing for their previous owner from a case dating back to October of last year. The horses had been rescued from a property in Camarillo after Humane Officer Winwood and Equine Specialist Christie Tracy responded to a call from a concerned citizen of horses living in appalling conditions. Dr. Marta Granstedt was the attending veterinarian on the case and reported that the horses were severely emaciated and required immediate care. The horses were quickly transported to the Shelter where they were further evaluated. Farrier Stacy Hyatt and her assistant Jay helped to assess, treat, and trim the hooves of the horses.

Besides being severely underweight, Archer’s hooves were extended over the shoes, and he had cankers in both hind hooves. The farrier also removed a nail in his back right hoof that been penetrating his heel. Hero was also shockingly emaciated, and his hooves were in horrible condition, making it painful for him to stand. Both horses are still in the custody of the Humane Society of Ventura County and doing well under the care of staff and local veterinarians. Both horses are up to a normal weight and in good health and will soon be available for adoption.

We want to thank our hardworking team here at the Humane Society of Ventura County. Each of our staff members played a critical role in the daily care of these animals along with the help of our dedicated volunteers who made their wellbeing and comfort at the Shelter a top priority. Special thanks to Humane Officer K. Winwood and Senior Humane Officer T. Vail who worked tirelessly putting a case together against the defendant with the oversight of Director of Investigations R.J. Hoffman.

Animal cruelty is a severe crime in the state of California, and Humane Officers are critical to bringing justice for animals abused and neglected within the County of Ventura. Section 2 of California Penal Code 597 describes Cruelty to an Animal as Overloading or overworking an animal, beating, hurting, or killing an animal, depriving an animal of food, water, or shelter from the weather, or abusing and/or causing an animal to suffer in any way.

The Humane Society of Ventura County is the only agency in Ventura County that employs Humane Officers. Humane Officers are provided with extensive training in animal husbandry and investigating animal cruelty and neglect cases. Officers up-hold penal codes, health and safety codes, and many other codes that pertain to abuse, neglect, and cruelty to animals.

If you witness or suspect any instances of abuse or neglect in the Ventura County area, please notify our investigators at (805) 656-5031 or 646-6505. All information is kept confidential.

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