Justice for Mini-Horses Mowed Down by Drunk Driver

Imagine the horror of hearing a crash in the night coming from your horses' corral. This is what happened to Juanita Carrillo, who found her two mini-horses mangled in fencing with their legs broken. Despite inflicting severe suffering, and killing two animals, the drunk driver is only facing property damage charges. Help us get justice for Scout and Big Red!

An Oakland, California man faces only three misdemeanor charges following his April 15, 2017 DUI and hit and run with "property damage" arrest. Ronald O. Rennert, Jr. was pulled over shortly after 2:00 a.m. in Petaluma for suspected drunk driving. The arresting officer noted Rennert's silver Honda CRV was missing parts and there were red tufts of hair stuck to the point of impact. The missing parts would later be identified as the parts found in the corral of two miniature horses who had been struck that night and who had to be euthanized. It was established that Rennert had been drinking in Cotati just before entering Penngrove and driving on to Petaluma where he was stopped.

Rennert's DUI arrest was connected to the Penngrove, CA hit and run of Juanita Carrillo's two mini horses, Big Red and Scout, who were mowed down shortly after 2:00 a.m. by someone who had crashed through three heavy wooden fences before fatally striking the animals.

Juanita Carrillo had heard a vehicle speed down Minnesota Avenue in front of her Penngrove home and then crash into her fenced property. When she went outside, she found Big Red and Scout mangled amidst fencing. Big Red was struck with such force that he lay beyond his corral. Both horses were injured beyond recovery including having their legs broken.

CHP investigators later discovered at least three of the missing parts to Rennert's Honda CRV in the splintered fencing and identified them by their serial numbers.

Rennert's arraignment was May 5, 2017. Juanita Carrillo and supporters attended the hearing. Of Rennert's charges, Juanita expressed that the court proceedings had brought her no consolation that she would see justice prevail. Because California law values companion animals and livestock as only mere property Juanita's cherished companions would be treated, as she explained, "...no different from my fence."

The conviction of defendants in animal cruelty cases hinges on evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant intended to harm or kill the victim and that the defendant was of sound mind during the commission of the crime. Because defendant Ronald O. Rennert Jr. was arrested for a DUI hit and run "property damage" charge, he cannot be charged with animal cruelty and the horses' legal status as property means their horrid deaths can only reap a maximum of two back to back six month jail terms or probation and fines.

However, long time In Defense of Animals' friend and animal rights attorney, Larry Weiss, suggested that instead of Sonoma County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Uemura employing "summary probation," this could become a test case for "creatively crafted conditions of probation within the court’s power to impose."

Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch has received letters and petitions regarding the case, and has shown that she cares about the outcome, but she is restricted to following the law in aiding Prosecuting Attorney Uemura with the case. She will meet with Juanita Carrillo prior to the Rennert's hearing scheduled in June.

What you can do:



We are asking you to join us in enlisting DA Ravitch's help in devising the "creative probation" Larry Weiss suggested that might serve justice for Big Red, Scout, and Juanita. Juanita will never recover from the inexcusable mayhem Rennert caused on April 15, 2017, but we may help her see some justice for her beloved companions. Please make a call and send our letter.

1) Call District Attorney Jill Ravitch

(707) 565-2311 - Your call will be answered by a receptionist, so please ask to leave a message for the DA with the DA's assistant

Please call DA Jill Ravitch to politely support her efforts to aid Prosecuting Attorney Scott Uemura in prosecuting Ronald Rennert to the fullest extent of the law. She has expressed her dismay for the inexcusable deaths of Big Red and Scout and that she is bound by law to charge him with what is on the books. Implore her to use her skills and experience in devising the creative probation that attorney Larry Weiss has suggested could be a means to setting a precedent within the powers of the court to see that Rennert pays in measure for costing two innocent animals their lives and their guardian lasting grief.

2) Personalize and send our letter to email your comments to District Attorney Jill Ravitch.

Personalize and submit the letter below to email your comments to:

  • District Attorney Jill Ravitch




Please Employ Creatively Crafted Conditions of Probation to Get Justice for Scout and Big Red

Dear [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]


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