Woman booked on animal cruelty
A Vallejo woman who owns a 45-acre horse ranch on Spenceville Road in Penn Valley turned herself in to authorities Wednesday morning, charged with cruelty to animals.
Pam Fyffe, 49, a marketing consultant and entrepreneur from the Bay Area with another ranch near Napa Valley, pleaded innocent to a felony charge Wednesday after she self-surrendered with her Nevada City attorney at the courthouse on Church Street in Nevada City.
A warrant for Fyffe’s arrest was issued May 1 and was recalled when she turned herself in, a Nevada County Superior Court clerk said Wednesday.
Fyffe refuted claims by her neighbors last February that she starved several of the 40 Spanish mustangs she keeps at her Spenceville Road property.
On Feb. 3, her neighbor Lynn Lise called Nevada County Animal Control to report that one of Fyffe’s horses was so skinny and weak it couldn’t stand up and was lying in mud.
The horses were being cared for by a young couple Fyffe paid to watch her property.
Neighbors took the sick horse to a neighbor’s ranch, where it was put down by a local veterinarian, with Fyffe’s permission.
Nevada County Animal Control Sgt. Bruce Baggett, who was called to the scene by the neighbors Feb. 4, said he had intended to seize several of the horses on Fyffe’s property because they were underfed and in an “unacceptable” condition.
He posted notice of a pre-seizure hearing on her front door, but Fyffe claims she never received the notice.
Fyffe and her former Grass Valley attorney had denied mistreating her animals.
Animal control officers continued their investigation and have gathered enough evidence of neglect to secure a warrant for her arrest.
Fyffe was booked at the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility at 9:20 a.m. Wednesday for cruelty to animals and released from custody.
The crime of cruelty to animals carries a maximum fine of $20,000.
Fyffe did not return a call from The Union Wednesday. Her Nevada City attorney Paul Estrada said he had no comment on the felony animal cruelty charge.
Fyffe is scheduled to appear for a felony conference at 1 p.m., May 25, in Nevada County Superior Court.
To contact staff writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@the union.com or call 477-4236.
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