Warmblood breeder Jill Burnell pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of animal cruelty Thursday. The charges stem from Burnell’s alleged neglect of her horses.
The Gray Fox Farm owner is charged with 5 felony counts of animal cruelty, 5 misdemeanor counts of keeping an animal without proper care, 3 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, and a single violation of operating a commercial animal business in Marin County, California without a permit.
Under the felony counts, Burnell is accused of depriving Romantic Star, Pookie (Devil’s Sis), Radieshen, Blackie, and Nutsie of necessary substance, drink, and shelter, according to the criminal complaint. Devil’s Sis had a Henneke Body Condition Score of 2 out of 9 when she was seized, according to officials.
Burnell’s husband, Alex Burnell, is facing the same charges. He also pleaded not guilty. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 1.
Maggie Weems is representing the couple. “The Burnells are decent, hard working people… I think by the time we get through the evidentiary hearings this summer anyone who has not already decided that they were wrongly accused will be convinced that this has been a hatchet job promoted by a few unscrupulous individuals,” says Weems.
We attempted to reach the prosecutor in the case without success.
Marin Humane Society Animal Services began investigating Gray Fox Farm in the fall of 2012. Two horses were seized initially in late December. Another two were taken by the agency in early January.
The Burnells are also involved in civil litigation with the animal service’s agency. The parties are scheduled to be back in court on Wednesday.
Stay with Rate My Horse PRO as we bring you more from this case.
A federal judge in California dismissed a civil case brought against the Marin Humane Society and nine other defendants by convicted animal abuser Jill Burnell. The Gray Fox Farm owner and breeder filed suit in December 2014... Read More
Warmblood breeder Jill Burnell is now the plaintiff in the case against the Marin Humane Society. The allegations focus on the December seizure of the stallion Romantic Star. The suit was originally filed by Georgia horse br... Read More
Stallion owner Ronda Stavisky is suing the Marin Humane Society for the alleged wrongful seizure of Romantic Star from Jill Burnell, in late December. The vet report states "changes on the chemistry due to anorexia and muscl... Read More
A new ruling states Marin Humane Society Animal Services in California was justified in the seizure of two mares from Gray Fox Farm. Jill Burnell is the owner of the warmblood breeding farm.... Read More
Four horses have been seized by Marin Humane Society Animal Services from the Gray Fox Farm owner's property since late December. “The horses were suffering and in need,” says Bruce Wagman, counsel for the humane society... Read More
Two horses have allegedly been seized from California breeder Jill Burnell. Officials from the Marin County Humane Society have confirmed the once well-known warmblood breeder is being investigated for horse neglect.... Read More