This past Tuesday, Feb. 4, 49-year-old Creswell resident Gwenyth Davies pleaded Guilty to 11 counts of Animal Neglect in the second degree (misdemeanors).
Davies was charged in connection to an October 2019 search warrant where 61 horses were found to be below minimal health standards and were removed from her property, where she ran a horse boarding business.
The horses were evaluated by a veterinarian prior to removal and taken to another location for further evaluation and care.
Additionally, several deceased horses were found on the property.
Sadly, three of the horses were in such poor health that they did not survive following their removal by authorities.
Most of the remaining horses that had been boarded on the property were returned to their owners after proof of ownership was established and the horses were determined to be medically stable. Four horses are still being held pending the resolution of criminal charges against their owners, Raina and Erica Ott, who also lived at the property.
The plea agreement, which contains several stipulations Davies must follow, allows the State to place restrictions on Davies regarding horse ownership, which may not have been possible if the case had gone to trial.
“One of main goals in this case was to ensure this type of neglect doesn’t occur again, and this agreement allows for a level of oversight that can aid in achieving that goal,” said Sheriff Cliff Harrold.
The agreement restricts the number of horses Davies can own to four and places her on bench probation or five years. Davies cannot possess nor have physical care of any other horses, including boarded horses.
The agreement also stipulates that Davies shall provide Lane County Animal Services and the Oregon Humane Society with monthly, unaltered photos of the horses she possesses and allow officials access to the property to evaluate the horses and any other animals on the property.
Davies is also ordered to pay restitution in the amount $49,557.36, including: $18,540.07 to the Oregon Humane Society, $10,637.90 to Lane County and $20,379.39 to Sound Equine Options for costs related to the care of the seized horses.
The Lane County Sheriff’s Office thanked Deputy District Attorney Jacob Kamins from the Benton County District Attorney’s Office, the Oregon Humane Society, Lane County Animal Services, Sound Equine Options, Emerald Valley Horse Rescue, and Lane County Land Management for their assistance in this case.