Grand Lake couple pleads differently to animal cruelty charges |

Grand Lake couple pleads differently to animal cruelty charges

A Grand Lake couple facing animal cruelty charges after videotaping themselves pulling a horse by a halter attached to a truck has decided to enter different pleas in Grand County Court.

John Saldate, 59, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty and will go to trial in September, while Amber Saldate, 33, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty in a plea deal.

The Saldates were charged with animal cruelty in November after a video posted on Facebook showed them pulling a horse attached to a truck hitch for roughly 100 yards.

Amber Saldate’s plea deal outlines a cap of 30 days in jail, two years of supervised probation and 100 hours of community service. Saldate must also get an animal cruelty evaluation and a mental health evaluation and treatment.

Before Saldate is sentenced, she must first undergo the animal cruelty evaluation, so her sentencing date is set for 2 p.m. July 7.

Saldate will be allowed to apply for work release during her jail time and may complete the time intermittently within the next year. Once she completes the terms of her probation, Saldate can also petition the court for unsupervised probation.

She also forfeited her rights to the horse involved in the incident. The horse was seized by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in November and taken to the Colorado Humane Society.

John Saldate’s trial is scheduled for 8 a.m. September 23.

Neither lawyers for the Saldates commented on the case, nor did the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

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