Helen Jackson scheduled for trial

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Local resident and businesswoman Helen Jackson now has a trial date, which has been set for Jan. 21, 2014, at Bakersfield’s Metro Division Court. She has been charged with four felony counts of cruelty to animals in connection with her business, Casa K-9 Kennel.

Last July Ridgecrest Police and Animal Control officers raided Jackson’s business, located on West Ridgecrest Boulevard, following a complaint of poor conditions at the facility. Officers removed 33 animals, housing them at Animal Control. Three were found to be microchipped, and were able to be reunited with their owners.

According to Police Captain Paul Wheeler, Jackson’s facility had been inspected by both the building inspector and the fire department in November 2012. Both considered the building unfit for habitation by humans or animals. The electricity to the facility had been turned off earlier because of an electrical fire, so the inspectors refused to turn it back on and removed the meter.

Jackson was notified in writing of the need to correct the code violations; she has stated she disputes the need for the additional work on the facility. Meanwhile, the animals in her care allegedly went without heat in winter or cooling in summer. Officers at Animal Control confirmed that the animals from Jackson’s facility were in poor condition, requiring veterinary care, repeated de-ticking, and extra food because they were so skinny.

Jackson had been in business at the site for 28 years.

Story First Published: 2013-12-04