Sheriff announces animal cruelty investigation, supports rancher

March 4, 2014

sheep4San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla announced yesterday that the department is conducting a thorough investigation into allegations of animal cruelty by an area sheep rancher.

However, he also stated in the press release that Jean (JB) Jaureguy’s explanation that his sheep died not from animal neglect but from a mild winter storm was accurate. Cipolla noted that because the sheep were sheared several days before the storm, they died as a result of being exposed to the elements.

“The owner indicated that he always shears his sheep in February,” Cipolla wrote. “Several days later, a major rainstorm hit the county, and as a result, several of the sheep became ill and 25 died.”

On Friday, a hiker walking trails at Heritage Ranch discovered dozens of abnormally thin and weak sheep. In addition, there were dead sheep in ravines, in a creek and on hillsides. The hiker called the sheriff and reported possible animal cruelty.

Sheriff Commander Jim Taylor said that because of the drought, the condition of the animals was not unusual. He also noted that the thinness of the sheep may be normal for this type of animal.

“It’s possible for a person not familiar with livestock to view them and feel that they are in a weakened condition when in fact they might not be,” Commander Taylor told KSBY.

Nevertheless, several ranchers who raise sheep said the Jaureguy’s animals look malnourished and that they know no one who shears their sheep this time of year.

Cipolla said the findings of the investigation will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of any possible criminal neglect charges.



  1. sloweb says:

    Concerning how farm animals might behave during an extended storm – any body who has ever cared for farm animals know that the only animal dumber than a sheep is a chicken.

    It would be difficult to say if a sheep is dumber than some of the uninformed people here that have made jumps in conclusions or attribute human qualities to sheep.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  2. pasoparent5 says:

    Mr. Jaureguy’s reputation has been tarnished by some anonymous hikers. Who are they?What are their names?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  3. obispan says:

    Well, at least we know why we pay Tony Cipolla for a made-up job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  4. liz_o says:

    It is necessary that animals are treated well and I am glad the local media are starting this conversation. I still cannot understand why no local media are reporting the attached story. You might be interested in knowing about the federal crimes being committed in Shandon:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • Gordo says:

      This is not new news to those of us who have been here our whole lives. Stephenson started buying up land around San Juan Road years ago, many times paying above market value. His goal of reconstituting the San Juan Rancho is conveniant as it masks the operations of Santa Cruz Biotics. Many of those who want to crucify the sheep rancher are exemplifying our miopic tendency to focus on little things while much greater offenses are perpetrated in our midst. Of course nobody stumbled through the 40,000 acre San Juan with a cell phone camera and filmed those horrors to post on the internet. Take a ride out San Juan Rd and Bitterwater Valley Rd sometime and see what is really going on in our county.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

Leave a Comment