Diane Sandahl, 77 years-old of Sebastopol, was ordered to pay $10,103.67 to the Sonoma County CHANGE organization, on January 21, 2021 after a restitution hearing in front of the Honorable Troye Shaffer. CHANGE is a nonprofit with the sole purpose of rehabilitating abused and neglected horses and cared for Sandahl’s pony after she was seized by Sonoma County Animal Services.
Sandahl pled no contest to two counts of misdemeanor animal abuse in 2018. Restitution was to be determined at a later date. Restitution in these types of cases requires the convicted person pay all of the costs associated with the care and treatment of the abused or neglected animal until the time she is rehomed. In this case CHANGE provided this care to Daphne.
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “Justice was served in this case; Daphne was saved and rehabilitated while CHANGE will be compensated for providing that care.”
The investigation conducted by Sonoma County Animal Services ended with subsequent seizure of Daphne, along with two other ponies. None of the ponies had adequate shelter and their hooves were extremely long and not properly trimmed. Daphne was feral but her hooves were in such poor condition she was barely able to walk. After Daphne was seized by Animal Services, CHANGE took over her care. It took them approximately 18 months to rehabilitate and treat Daphne’s conditions before they were able to find her a new home.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Jessalee Mills and Sonoma County Animal Services headed the investigation.