Horse Hoarder Jailed For Cruelty
Seizure at animal compound resulted in few euthanasias for hopeless cases.
Pearblossom resident Janis Ridgeway Damiani, 57, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 30 counts of felony animal cruelty after Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control officers took away more than 100 horses from her Antelope Valley compound on Monday and Tuesday.
Damiani entered the not guilty plea before Judge Richard Naranjo. She is scheduled to return June 30 for a preliminary hearing at the Antelope Valley Superior Court. She is being held in lieu of $652,000 bail, which includes amounts related to previous animal cruelty charges.
County animal control officers responded after receiving numerous complaints that there were problems with the animals on her property. The charges involve 15 horses, one dog and 14 cats that were starving or were severely injured and had to be euthanized. Three independent vets made the decision to euthanize the animals. An estimated 100 horses were removed and taken to other facilities.
If convicted, Damiani faces up to 24 years in state prison.