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Woman pleads guilty to animal cruelty, receives no jail time

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 16:51:44-04

ORANGE COUNTY, Va. -- A Virginia woman who pleaded guilty last week to four counts of cruelty will not serve any jail time.

Donna Arft, the owner of four horses found dead and 11 seized horses, was sentenced to a jail sentence of 12 months with all of it suspended.

Investigators say their investigation began when deputies responded to an Orange County home for a welfare check on several horses that were reported to be in poor condition.

On January 15, 2020, deputies responded to the property located in the 13000 block of St. Just Road.

When deputies arrived at the property, they discovered four dead horses. Officials say 11 other horses were seized due to their condition.

As a part of her guilty plea, Arft must pay restitution to Orange County.

"The defendant also agreed to surrender the mare that was seized and her foal to the Orange County Animal Shelter and will not keep more than 5 horses on the property located on St. Just Road," according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.