NORTH COUNTY – The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office announced a woman has been arrested for animal cruelty, after law enforcement found several dead horses on private property located in rural North County.
Jennyfer Lee Taylor, 39, was arrested and booked into Okanogan County Jail on Jan. 22 on five counts of animal cruelty in the first degree, according to the sheriff’s jail booking log.
The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) said they received the initial complaint of animal abuse on Jan.18.
Sheriff’s deputies gained access to the remote property with a tracked ATV on Jan. 20. Upon their arrival they observed three deceased horses.
“The occupants of the property and animal owner(s) were not home when deputies arrived. Deputies left a card for the owners to contact the Sheriff’s Office. Initial contact was made by the horses’ owner. However, she ceased communications with the investigating deputies,” said the OCSO.
On Saturday, Jan. 22, a search warrant was applied for and granted. Deputies executed the search warrant at the property with the assistance of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, mounted U.S. Border Patrol Officers and several others, including an equine veterinarian.
Law enforcement officers were able to locate the occupants of the property upon arrival.OCSO said later, during the execution of the search warrant four deceased horses were located in a makeshift stable and a fifth was located adjacent to the stables in deep snow.
No food or water was located at the scene.
“The veterinarian on scene examined the deceased horses and believed all horses died due to starvation and/or dehydration,” said OCSO.
Officers located a sixth horse, still alive. This horse was examined by the veterinarian. It was determined the horse was underweight and was removed from the property, said the sheriff”s office.
According to Undersheriff Dave Yarnell, No Paws Left Behind, an animal rescue group located near Oroville, agreed to take the horse into their facility where it will be cared for during the prosecution phase.
“Thank you, for the hard work, and cooperation of multiple agencies, and personnel to get this accomplished,” said the OCSO