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Oregon woman faces new charges for animal neglect and theft, amid probation violations in horse neglect case

Following initial publication, the LCSO confirmed another visit to the property on Feb 23rd that will result in other changes that do not yet appear to be filed. A secret grand jury is possible if the charges are felony level.

Update on 2/28/24 at 8:31pm – Additional details were added to this story following a press release from the Lane County Sheriff’s Office about a follow-up incident that took place on 2/23/24 that involved the seizure of further animals and even further pending charges against Ott. Ott also failed to appear for her arraignment on the morning of 2/28, resulting in bench warrants being issued for Ott in both of her new cases.

Eugene, Ore. – An Oregon woman already embroiled in probation violations from a 2019 horse neglect case near Eugene, Oregon, is now facing new charges for animal neglect as well as theft from a Coastal Farm & Ranch store.

Equestrian Media Group reported on Ott’s third round of alleged probation violations just days ago.

Raina McKenzie Ott, 24, was recently arrested in early February on a warrant for the third round of alleged probation violations stemming from her conviction tied to one of Oregon’s worst and largest horse neglect cases in recent memory.

The original case was centered around Gwenyth Davies, a former friend and associate of Ott, and recieved some national media attention and coverage from the Associated Press. Ott had originally painted herself as a victim of Davies while criticizing law enforcement agencies and non-profit horse rescue officials in a video interview with KEZI 9 News. Ott’s mother, Erica Ott, was also charged and convicted and has faced her own alleged probation violations.

On Friday, Senior Deputy Attorney General Jacob Kamins, serving as a special prosecutor for the Lane County District Attorney, filed the new charges in two separate cases against Ott.

The court documents revealed that Ott’s arrest in early February was also tied to the four counts of second-degree theft.

Ott allegedly engaged in a string of thefts from the Coastal Farm & Ranch store in Eugene on four separate occasions through July and August 2023. The first incident is reported to have occurred on July 7th, 2023, only about a week after Ott was released after serving a month in county jail for earlier probation violations.

Court documents appear to corroborate the earlier reports and statements made to Equestrian Media Group by sources last summer– including by a store employee who was not authorized to speak to the media and was provided anonymity.

Those sources at the time alleged Ott had been trespassed from the store for manipulating barcodes to ring up lower prices tied to the wrong items.

The store’s general manager, Tina Bartram, had confirmed that Ott was trespassed from the store. She said their store only successfully identified Ott after she was escorted away, thanks partly to past reporting and photographs from Equestrian Media Group involving Ott.

Additional questions involving the incident were directed to Coastal’s corporate office, which has never responded to any requests from this publication on this or other stories.

A probable cause affidavit filed in Ott’s new theft case also alleges that Ott revealed her past 2018 theft at a local Walmart. Ott was charged with a felony count of theft in the first degree.

According to the documents obtained by Equestrian Media Group, Ott’s new charge for animal neglect involves discoveries made the same day Ott was arrested for the numerous probation violations and the new theft charges.

An affidavit from Stacy Manning, an animal welfare officer with Lane County Animal Services, stated that on February 1st of this year, she arrived at the Hwy 58 property where Ott resided to check on the welfare of the animals owned by Raina and Wade Ott.

Manning reports finding a dog named JoJo in a small dog kennel inside a tack room with “a strong ammonia order and feces on the floor.”

She went on further to detail in her report that the dog had a serious front leg injury: ” ‘JoJo’s’ front leg was bent underneath itself. When I asked Raina Ott about the dogs, she advised me that ‘JoJo’ and ‘Ukiah’ belong to her sister, Shae, and that ‘JoJo’ had been taken to a vet. When I asked [Ott] which vet clinic ‘JoJo’ was taken to, [Ott] advised me she did not know.”

Manning’s statement then explains she spoke with Ott’s sister, Shae, by phone. “Shae advised me she did not own any of the dogs and that ‘JoJo’ and ‘Ukiah’ belong to Raina. Shea also stated that she herself had not taken any dogs to a vet.”

Ott’s brother had also allegedly told Manning that the dogs belonged to Raina. Ott is currently prohibited under the terms of her existing probation stemming from her conviction for horse neglect of possessing or caring for any equine or other domestic animals.

According to Manning’s report, she impounded JoJo under an ordinance violation for neglect. She took the animal to an emergency veterinary hospital for immediate care, where a veterinarian determined the dog’s leg needed to be amputated. Shortly after JoJo was transferred to the Greenhill Humane Society.

The report went on to detail findings by another veterinarian at Greenhill: “Dr. Schroeder inspected the dog and on February 2, 2024, advised me that ‘JoJo’ had chronic scarring on leg due to disuse [sic] due to the old injury and had a malodorous dirty coat consistent with long-standing unsanitary living conditions. Dr. Schroeder advised that Greenhill Humane Society would amputate the leg once custody of a dog is decided.”

Ott appeared to have been released promptly after her arrest. She is scheduled for arraignment on February 28th at 8:30 am. A mini-trial and hearing on Ott’s alleged probation violations in her past case is scheduled for March 11th at 10:00 am. Both are set at the Lane County Circuit Court in downtown Eugene.

Raina Ott is pictured yelling unintelligibly at a reporter taking photos of a property that doubled as an equine facility outside Eugene from a public roadway in late April 2023. (Photo Credit – Equestrian Media Group)

No attempts to contact Ott were made due to a previous altercation in which Ott falsely alleged this reporter was trespassing in response to taking photos from a public highway interviewing an elderly neighbor. According to police who responded, Ott demanded no further contact by this publication.

The incident last year also sparked an illegal detention by Deputy Bradly May of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, resulting in a complaint by Equestrian Media Group, prompting an internal investigation, the results of which the Sheriff’s Office would not release even after self-admitted delays in response.

Following the initial publication, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office released a statement regarding another incident at Ott’s Hwy 58 residence, corroborating earlier allegations made to Equestrian Media Group of dead cattle on the property.

The statement read:

“On Friday, Deputies responded with Lane County Animal Services to an address in the 34400 block of Highway 58.  LCAS had received complaints of malnourished animals from area residents.  The owner of the animals, Raina McKenzie Ott, was known to be on probation from a 2020 conviction for 11 counts of Animal Neglect in the Second Degree in which she was sentenced to 60 months of probation.  While LCAS typically does initial contact on animal neglect cases, LCSO assisted due to the likely probation violation and criminal neglect of the animals.  

Deputies contacted Ott at the residence and discovered several malnourished cows and emaciated companion animals living in deplorable conditions.  Several decomposing cow carcasses were also found.  LCAS rehoused the companion animals and is working with Ott to remove the remaining cows from the property.  Possession of the cows and companion animals was in violation of her probation as well.  

Ott was cited in lieu of custody for Animal Neglect in the First Degree, Animal Neglect in the Second Degree, and Contempt of Court. “

Ott also failed to attend the earlier mentioned arraignment hearing on February 28th for her newer cases. A bench warrant has been issued for her arrest.

This is a developing story you can count on us to keep you updated on.

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