SLO Sheriff determines no wrong doing in sheep deaths
May 10, 2014
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff department determined that local rancher Jean (JB) Jaureguy was not criminally negligent in the deaths of 25 sheep, according to a sheriff’s department press release.
In February, 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.
The sheriff’s department confirmed its original statement that the sheep died not from animal neglect, but from a mild winter storm. The department said that the combination of high winds and excessive rain caused the deaths.
As part of the investigation, the California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab performed necropsy on two deceased sheep that were determined to be underweight, however, they showed signs that food had been provided to them recently
“The sheriff’s office recognizes that any loss of an animal is tragic,” the press release says. “The sheriff’s office further recognizes that such a loss can be very emotional to all involved. But our role is to be an independent finder of facts and to determine whether a crime has been committed.”