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Horse Succumbed to Neglect, But Dog Makes Comeback

A jury convicted a southwest Riverside County woman on Tuesday of two counts of felony animal cruelty.

The case involved a severely neglected horse and a dog. The horse did not survive the neglect, but a 7-year-old pit bull mix named Karma made a comeback and was rehomed.

The woman, Susan Violet Guillot (DOB: 9-25-57), first came to the attention of authorities in 2017 when she was suspected of stealing money through fraudulent horse sales. In March 2017, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant at the property in unincorporated Riverside County, northeast of Lake Elsinore. It was at that Robert Street property where numerous animals were living in filthy and dangerous conditions.

A sheriff’s deputy contacted Riverside County Animal Services and officers arrived. Two animals – a Palomino named Sweetie and Karma – needed immediate veterinary care. Animal Services officers transported those animals.

Sweetie suffered a wound on her back left leg that was left untreated and required surgery, but the horse did not recover and, ultimately, was humanely euthanized. Karma’s severe neglect resulted in a skin condition. Fortunately, the dog, now 9, recovered, was rescued by an Animal Services adoption-partner organization and eventually adopted by an out-of-state family.

“This was a classic case of animal collecting, becoming overwhelmed, leading to animal neglect and abuse,” said Sgt. Lesley Huennekens. Sgt. Huennekens investigated the case and testified during the trial. “We mandated that the neglected animals receive care, but she failed to do so.”

Animal Services Director & Chief Veterinarian Dr. Allan Drusys expressed gratitude to Deputy District Attorney Harold Anderson for his efforts. “We appreciate the District Attorney’s office treatment of this case and applaud the prosecutor’s successful efforts,” Dr. Drusys said.

Paws For Life Rescue coordinated Karma’s second chance. The pooch is still recovering, but living a better life.

“She really deserved life and love,” said Cynthia Merriman, founder of Paws For Life Rescue. “Everything she suffered – it’s not right. You don’t treat animals in this way. And there are consequences.”

Ms. Guillot’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 24.

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