Lancaster woman faces animal cruelty charges after dead horses found on property

More than 20 horses, including several that appeared emaciated, were rescued from their owner in Lancaster in June.

A 72-year-old Lancaster woman faces 10 felony counts of animal cruelty after Los Angeles County authorities discovered more than 20 severely malnourished horses as well as two dead ones at her property last year.

Jessica Warren also faces misdemeanor charges of failing to properly care for the animals, failing to provide shelter and housing animals in areas that could be injurious to them, according to the L.A. County district attorney’s office.

Warren pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Tuesday, authorities said.

Officers from the L.A. County Department of Animal Care and Control investigating a report last June of a dead horse at Warren’s property discovered the emaciated equines, including some in need of immediate veterinary care, according to the county department.


Two horses died while authorities were at the property, and two others had to be euthanized later, according to prosecutors.

One officer told KTLA-TV at the time that they encountered “animals in such bad shape that we were afraid that they would drop dead.”

Warren is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail. If convicted as charged, she faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 10 years in jail, according to the district attorney’s office.

In 2015, a Riverside County woman was convicted of animal cruelty after she was found to be keeping 17 emaciated horses.