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Burro Sanctuary Raided, Owner Arrested for Alleged Animal Cruelty

Burro Sanctuary Raided
Burro Sanctuary Raided, Owner Arrested for Alleged Animal Cruelty

Burro Sanctuary Raided, Owner Arrested for Alleged Animal Cruelty

Inyo County Sheriff’s Office Press Release 1/14/19

On Tuesday, March 11 Inyo County sheriff’s investigators and deputies executed a search and seizure warrant at the Burro Sanctuary in Olancha, CA.

An arrest warrant was served on Diane Chonto (the owner and operator of the Sanctuary); she was taken into custody and booked for alleged felony animal cruelty.

In a recent inspection, Animal Services personnel witnessed approximately 160 burros, mules, horses and other livestock suffering from varying degrees of long-term neglect. Several animals had hooves so overgrown that they curled under and continued to grow backward toward the hind legs; many were unable to stand, and reaching food and water was difficult.

Workers from the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue from Texas assisted in relocating the animals to a regional care facility. Prior to transport, all animals were checked by a veterinarian.

The total number of relocated animals includes nine horses, seven mules, and 150 donkeys. Additionally, one cow, two mini donkeys, and one dog were relocated locally. Six burros needed to be euthanized.


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Business and private sponsorship help Fugitive Watch empower the community to strike back at crime from the safety of their living rooms. Fugitive Watch has been credited by law enforcement with over several 1000 crimes solved or fugitives apprehended. Fugitive Watch also helps improve the safety of police officers by locating fugitives for law enforcement so they can more safely arrest them rather than unexpectedly running across them through extremely dangerous routine “chance encounters”. As law enforcement officers know all too well, These “chance encounters” have resulted in countless officer injuries and deaths.

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