A 62-year-old Perris woman has been convicted on two counts of felony animal cruelty. The case involved a severely neglected Palomino 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 released to a loving home.
Susan Violet Guillot was convicted of two counts of abusing animals by neglect, regarding her dog Karma and her horse Sweetie. Guillot is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24, 2020, in Dept. 64 at the Hall of Justice in Riverside.
On March 16, 2017, investigators from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant on Guillot’s home because she was suspected of stealing money through fraudulent horse sales. Officers from the Riverside County Department of Animal Services assisted because Guillot had numerous animals on her property, including dogs, horses, rabbits, pigs, peacocks, donkeys, chickens, an alpaca, a zebra, and a “zorse” – a combination of horse and zebra. Guillot told investigators she worked with animals on movie sets.
The investigators found many of the animals living in filthy and dangerous conditions. Inside Guillot’s house, investigators found dogs and pigs living in feces and trash covered rooms with no drinking water. Outside Guillot’s house, investigators found animals living in dirty pens without adequate drinking water. Some of the animals were in areas that were so covered with trash it was dangerous for the animals.
Animal Services officers saw two animals, a dog named Karma and a horse named Sweetie, that needed to be seen by veterinarians immediately. The officers worked with Guillot to get Karma and Sweetie medical treatment. While in Guillot’s possession, Karma and Sweetie had been suffering from painful and severe untreated medical conditions. Guillot repeatedly evaded the attempts by officers to get help for the animals.
Animal Services officers took possession of Karma, gave her the medical treatment she needed, and found a good home through a reputable rescue operation. Sweetie was also given to a rescue and received medical treatment but eventually succumbed to her injuries.
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. 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, who 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.”
The case, RIF1705360, was prosecuted by Deputy DA Harold Anderson.
- Karma-middle-with her two roomies: Riverside County Department of Animal Services
- Karma snuggles under a blanket: Riverside County Department of Animal Services
- Neglected horse: Riverside County Department of Animal Services