Charges Recommended in California Horses' Deaths Navajo was euthanized after being cared for by Aron Jacques.  (Top - before / Bottom - after)

California Equestrian Sentenced to Jail in Animal Cruelty Case

No horses, animals for Aron Jacques – View Case

Aron Jacques
Aron Jacques

A former California hunter/jumper trainer was sentenced to two years behind bars Tuesday for horse abuse. Once released, Aron Jacques cannot own or be around any animals for 10-years.

Jacques, of Santa Clarita, pleaded no contest to felony animal cruelty for starving a horse to death. She was remanded to the county jail after being sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Blanchard. Jacques was ordered to pay restitution to the owners of the horses and to animal control for seizure and care costs, as a part of her plea deal.

“Prosecutors take animal abuse very seriously. While no sentence can bring back the animals that lost their lives, this jail sentence holds the defendant accountable for the needless suffering she caused,” says prosecutor Daniel Rochmes.

Jacques was charged with four felony counts of animal cruelty and five misdemeanor counts of failing to care for an animal in September 2014. The felony counts were for horses that died or were euthanized after being under her care.  The horses included Thoroughbreds retired from the track.

Jen Arevalo’s horse Navajo was one of those euthanized. “I hope she gets the mental help and drug abuse counsel she needs to get her life together,” Arevalo says. “While plea deals are never the maximum sentence, I’m still happy and feel we got justice for the horses.”

Jacques faced a maximum sentence of more than 7-years in prison if she was convicted of all counts.

Local horse owners Brittany Tavalaro and Nicole Alvarado played a crucial role in bringing attention to the horses’ plight through their tenacity and documentation. Almost two years later, they are still fighting for the horses.

“Rate My Horse PRO made it public so more were aware of the situation and so others were not caught in the same situation,” Tavalaro says. “We can all go on with our lives without having to worry about other animals she could be doing this too.”

According to Shiara Davila-Morales, chief of media relations for the District Attorney’s office, “the defendant cannot own, possess, maintain, have custody of, reside with, or care for any animal for ten years.”

“… You have to be responsible for your actions with animals and you will be held accountable if you abuse them,” Alvarado says.

A restitution hearing is scheduled for December 9th.