Donkey death leads to animal cruelty charge against Smartsville man |

Donkey death leads to animal cruelty charge against Smartsville man

A Smartsville man accused of causing needless suffering to his donkey, which led a veterinarian to euthanize it, appeared in court this month on a felony animal cruelty charge, authorities said.

Louis John Silva, 56, is next scheduled to stand before a Nevada County Superior Court judge on Sept. 14, when he’s expected to formally enter a not guilty plea, court records state.

The charge against Silva stems from a May 15 call about his donkey Mariah, Deputy District Attorney James Morris said.

Animal Control officers responded to Silva’s property, finding the animal in pain and with flies buzzing around its ears, nose and mouth, he added.

“They recognized the severity of the situation, but they did not do an immediate seizure,” Morris said.

The officers left a note for Silva instructing him to visit a veterinarian. They returned the next day with a veterinarian of their own. That animal doctor had the donkey taken to Sammie’s Friends, where authorities chose to euthanize it, Morris said.

Animal Control officers then submitted a report on the incident to the District Attorney’s Office, which opted to send Silva a citation letter. Silva appeared in court on Aug. 21 and said he intends to hire his own attorney, Morris said.

“It’s still in the beginning stages,” the prosecutor said of the case.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User