Case Snapshot
Case ID: 2856
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: rabbit (pet)
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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

County: Alameda

Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Janine Marie Cazares

Case Updates: 5 update(s) available

Tumors, abscesses, chewed off ears and eye infections were treated by Oakland veterinarians when 27 neglected rabbits were brought to a veterinary hospital for treatment in May.
Now, their former owner, Janine Marie Cazares, has been arrested on animal cruelty charges, police said.

Cazares was charged with animal cruelty after police and Hayward Animal Control raided her home on Bruno Street on May 12, said Sgt. Mark Mosier.

Her arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 15, and her bail was set at $10,000.

Police said she allowed animal control officers in her home for inspections and found rabbits living among feces, rabbit bones and decaying rabbits.

"Some of the 27 rabbits were a few hours old," Mosier said. "She failed to provide medical care and proper living conditions."

Kerry Sullivan, a volunteer for the Richmond-based House Rabbit Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing rabbits and educating the public about proper rabbit care, was upset about the rabbits' conditions.

"It upset me," Sullivan said. "Their fur was blonde -- yellow from living in urine," she explained, adding that she helped cut the rabbits' fur.

The rabbits were rescued by the Hayward Animal Shelter and the House Rabbit Society, which placed the rabbits in foster homes in May, Sullivan said.

For more information about proper rabbit care or adopting a rabbit, contact the House Rabbit Society at or (510) 970-7575.

Case Updates

On June 24, Cazares was ordered by the judge to pay $2,567.00 to the Hayward Animal Shelter for caring for the rabbits before the House Rabbit Society began fostering them. The issue of restitiution to the House Rabbit Society has been delayed for one month.
Update posted on Jun 24, 2005 - 7:03PM 
Janine Marie Cazares was sentenced in criminal court Friday (May 20, 2005) to three years' probation and 16 days in jail for neglecting 26 rabbits. Cazares is allowed to keep her dog and four cats but cannot acquire any more pets during her probation. She will also be subject to random searches from Hayward Police Department Animal Services workers.

Richmond-based House Rabbit Society has rehabilitated the animals and hopes to find permanent homes for them. HRS members want restitution, as does the Hayward Animal Shelter, which accrued $2,567 in costs for keeping the animals while temporary homes were being found. The shelter charges per animal, per day.

The first judge pronounced Cazares, but then recused himself from the sentencing. According to reports, the second judge, Judge Robert Kurtz, did not seem to care about animals and actually said in court that he usually hears criminal cases of rape and murder, and by comparison this case didn't seem that bad.

Judge Robert Kurtz had seen pictures of Cazares's back yard where the rabbits were kept. "The photographs are not pleasant, and the condition of some of the rabbits was appalling," he said at the sentencing.

The judge said Cazares would not have to undergo counseling, which had intiially been suggested by Deputy District Attorney Jill Nerone.
Source: Inside Bay Area - May 21, 2005
Update posted on May 22, 2005 - 8:03PM 
Today, the defendent in the case, Janine Marie Cazares, appeared before Judge Robert Fairwell (the same judge who heard the Lucky case, Sigmon/Collins). The defendant's attorney and the prosecutor, Jill Nerone (who also prosecuted the Lucky case), met in chambers with Judge Fairwell, who, after reviewing the facts and photos of this case, disqualified himself, citing the disturbing nature of the circumstances, rendering him unable to hear the case fairly and impartially. So the case was transferred to Judge Robert Kurtz.

Judge Kurtz met in chambers with the defense and prosecutor, and when court came back into session, the defendant pled No Contest to one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty, failure to care for animals.

Sentencing has been deferred until Friday, May 20th, at 2PM in Department 519 at the Hayward Hall of Justice (8 days after the one year anniversary of the rescue). The delay will give both sides time to present written submissions to the judge.
Source: House Rabbit Society - April 20, 2005
Update posted on Apr 20, 2005 - 5:44PM 
Pre-trial hearing has once again been postponed, this time to 2/24/05.
Update posted on Dec 20, 2004 - 11:26PM 
The pre-trial hearing orginally scheduled for Nov. 15, was moved. Her lawyers moved her arraignment up to Nov. 8, where she entered a plea of Not Guilty. The pre-tial hearing is now scheduled for Dec. 17, 2004.
Update posted on Nov 10, 2004 - 12:20PM 


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